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Medidata launches Acorn AITM and appoints Dr. Rama Kondru as CIO

17 April 2019 | News

They are looking for strategic partners that can deliver AI-as-a-Service, underwriting their risk of innovation

Medidata Solutions has announced that it is taking the next significant step to accelerate the digital transformation of life sciences in the age of precision medicine. It is launching Acorn AITM, a Medidata company, and appoints Rama Kondru, Ph.D., as the chief information officer for Medidata.

Acorn AI is designed to provide actionable insights to the front lines of decision-making by making data liquid across the entire lifecycle, from R&D to commercialization. Leveraging the company’s AI capabilities and expertise, customers and partners can now unlock the power of data to conquer the most complex diseases.

The new business is backed by:

  • Medidata’s cumulative R&D investments in technology, data pipelines, data science, and acquisitions such as SHYFT Analytics
  • The Medidata platform, comprised of more than 17,000 clinical trials (5,000 active) and the ability to analyze 45 billion patient records from 2 million providers
  • The industry’s largest structured, standardized clinical data repository with over 4.8 million patients
  • More than 1,200 active customers with 150,000+ certified users

To solve companies’ complex scientific and commercial challenges, Acorn AI is proposing new products such as a Value Discovery Engine to make better go/no-go decisions; Intelligent Trials to improve study success and speed; Integrated Evidence to help demonstrate value to regulators, payors, providers and patients; and Connected Devices to integrate the new generation of medical devices within the digital healthcare ecosystem.

Sastry Chilukuri, who recently joined Medidata, is now the president of Acorn AI. Rachel Sherman, M.D., former principal deputy commissioner of FDA, joins as chief scientific and medical advisor. Kathy McGroddy-Goetz, Ph.D., who joined Medidata from IBM Watson Health, drives strategy and alliances. Rama Kondru, leads technology development for Acorn AI, in addition to handling his broader responsibilities as the newly appointed CIO of Medidata.

Nitish Mittal, Practice Director at Everest Group said, "Life science firms are looking at data-centric and AI-based business models to revamp functions, such as drug discovery, R&D, clinical trials, and commercial operations, to cater to an evolving patient profile, a converging ecosystem, and emerging therapy areas. They are looking for strategic partners that can deliver AI-as-a-Service, underwriting their risk of innovation. Medidata's new venture, Acorn AI, builds on a combination of deep life science pedigree, proprietary data sets, and AI methodologies to help life science customers reimagine their operating model.”

Medidata has also appointed Rama Kondru as its first-ever CIO. He is now leading the company’s enterprise data strategy, architecture and future platform development for Medidata’s product portfolio. With his expertise, Medidata will accelerate the creation of leading-edge technologies, such as AI and IoT capabilities, for broad use in healthcare. Rama Kondru is now part of Medidata’s senior leadership team.

Tarek Sherif, chairman and chief executive officer, Medidata said, “For 20 years we’ve been steadfast in our mission of powering smarter treatments and healthier people by heavily investing in our platform, data, AI and expertise. With the launch of Acorn AI and Rama’s appointment, we are now uniquely positioned to create a new paradigm for life science companies who want to drive actionable insights at scale using data and AI.”

As the former CIO of Janssen Americas, Rama Kondru is an innovative and strategically focused executive with over 20 years of experience in diverse roles in pharma, medical devices, data science, and academia. He brings a wealth of experience designing and developing technology products to deliver enhanced patient outcomes and experiences. Rama Kondru is well recognized in the industry having received multiple awards and developed 25 patents, along with authoring more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications.


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