Montreal-based healthcare technology and artificial intelligence (AI) startup Aifred Health today took second place in the final round of the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition and will win a US $ 1 million prize for its digital health software.
“The US $ 1 million prize will be used to accelerate the delivery of our AI technology in the treatment of depression and other mental illnesses. “
– Aifred Health
Aifred Health offers clinical solutions for mental health treatments using AI. The startup’s second place comes five years after participating in the XPRIZE competition with 150 other applicants. Aifred Health was the only Canadian startup to qualify for the final of this global competition.
“It is with immense pride and enthusiasm that we announce that Aifred Health has been ranked second in the world in the Global IBM Watson AI XPRIZE”, Aifred Health tweeted following the announcement.
“The US $ 1 million prize will be used to accelerate the delivery of our AI technology in the treatment of depression and other mental illnesses,” the company added.
In this final phase of the XPRIZE competition, Aifred was one of the three finalists of the competition. Zzapp Malaria, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, took home the top prize of $ 5 million, and Marinus Analytics, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., Took home the third prize of $ 500,000.
The finalists were selected from a pool of 10 semi-finalists following presentations of their solutions to a panel of judges at an event held last year.
To determine the winner, a jury made up of representatives from around the world evaluated each team based on their performance in the following areas: technical impact achieved, proven impact in the real world, scalability of impact in the real world, and ethics. and security.
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Aifred Health was founded by four McGill University graduates and was incubated at the District 3 Innovation Center at Concordia University. The startup’s app asks patients a series of standardized questionnaires each week and gives clinicians access to more data on the ongoing health of their patients. The app then uses AI to help clinicians determine personalized treatment methods for patients.
In December, Aifred Health raised $ 4 million in seed funding, co-led by MEDTEQ and BDC Capital. When Aifred Health emerged among the top three finalists in February, the company said it planned to use its cash prize, along with its seed funding, to fund the clinical trial required for approval. regulation of its solution.
“Each of the three finalists for IBM Watson AI XPRIZE showcases what is possible when the power of AI is used to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges,” said Daniel Hernandez, CEO of IBM Data and HAVE. “It’s inspiring to see how the AI technologies we have developed at IBM are helping these organizations realize and scale their right technology solutions to drive positive societal change. “
Image source District 3 innovation hub.