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January 14, 2019

AI-driven DNA sequencing provides medical cannabis insights

By Lucy Ingham

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being paired with DNA sequencing to bring much-needed insight to the rapidly growing medical cannabis market.

In many parts of the world, medical cannabis is becoming increasingly accepted, as attitudes change and governments relax laws on its use.

However, the amount of data available on its appropriate use and prescription remains very poor when compared to traditional pharmaceuticals, meaning prescribing medical cannabis can become a trial and error affair.

To tackle this issue, medical technology company Frelii is enhancing DNA sequencing with AI to provide rapid insight into different strains and delivery formats, which can be used to assist medical professionals with appropriate prescriptions.

“AI combined with DNA sequencing is a match made in heaven because it can bring to light previously unexplored connections that can impact entire industries such as the rapidly expanding medical marijuana market to health care at large,” said Ian Jenkins, CEO of Frelii.

“AI provides insight into the function of genetic expression and helps removes the guess work.”

AI-powered DNA sequencing beyond medical cannabis

Although Frelii’s current focus is on medical cannabis, the company is also applying its technology to the wider healthcare market, due to the speed increase it provides over conventional DNA sequencing.

“AI provides insight into the function of genetic expression and helps removes the guess work,” said Jenkins.

“The rapid evolution of AI-based DNA sequencing is delivering new insight into the genome coupled with connections and patterns of gene expression at a scale we have never seen before.”

The technology also has the potential to be used in personalised medicine, which is tailored to an individual based on their precise DNA.

“Our own Frelii AI system stands at the forefront to empower personalised and precision medicine in new and exciting way,” he said.

“Frelii looks at every data point on the genome and analyses how each point is interconnected with every other data point. This is a fundamentally different approach to DNA sequencing and analysis.

“We produce 60 Million data points, vs the typical 400-700 thousand, as with typical consume- level DNA kits. What we end up with are hard facts that say what the human body will do as well as information regarding what it could do when drugs, medications, supplements and lifestyle changes are introduced.”