Congratulations to Montreal’s Aifred Health on finishing 2nd in the IBM Watson AI XPrize competition and winning the $1 Million Prize

Huge congratulations go out to Aifred Health Co-Founders David Benrimoh MD, Kelly Perlman, Sonia Israel, Robert Fratila as well as CEO Marina Massingham and the whole team at Aifred Health on winning the $1 Million Second Place prize in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Competition! The prestigious $5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE challenged teams to demonstrate how humans can work with AI to tackle global challenges. The competition took place over 5 years and saw more than 150 teams participate from all over the world, and after years of review and expert due diligence Aifred Health, the only Canadian team to reach the top 10 finalists, came out on top.

This result is a tremendous accomplishment for this Montreal based artificial intelligence pioneer and will fuel innovation, expanding to other medical conditions, and help Aifred reach the millions of patients who suffer with mental health issues every day.

AIfred Health uses Artificial Intelligence to improve the treatment of clinical depression

Aifred is a digital healthcare company using artificial intelligence to develop clinical decision support systems to help physicians make better treatment decisions in mental healthcare, starting with depression. Aifred operationalizes best-evidence guidelines, together with AI-based insights, to support better treatment management, and to deliver on the promise of personalized medicine by matching individual patients to the right treatment.

It is encouraging to see an innovative company using AI to address challenges in mental health as the need is significant. Mental Health issues are growing in prevalence worldwide and current methods of diagnosis and treatment are subjective, outdated and ineffective. These issues also tend to attract fewer resources, when compared to high visibility diseases such as cancer or heart disease that are traditionally diagnosed and treated using objective measures.

AI for good: The goal is better treatment decisions

Depression is a serious global problem that affects over 300 million people. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic with its vast social and economic ramifications, the rate of clinical depression is increasing. Physicians have few tools to help them effectively select and manage mental health treatments based on the unique characteristics of their individual patients, leading to an arduous and lengthy “trial and error” approach to treatment. The Aifred solution uses AI to learn from the clinical data of thousands of patients to help tailor individual treatment, significantly reducing the time it takes for a patient to reach remission. 

A talented team of professionals committed to solving real world problems

Aifred was founded by a multidisciplinary team of professionals including David Benrimoh, MD, CM, MSc., Robert Fratila, B.Sc., Sonia Israel, B.Sc. and Kelly Perlman, MSc. Marina Massingham, MSc was brought in as CEO two years ago.

The company has received positive feedback from the initial trials of its technology and continues to develop its solution in preparation for regulatory approval, including a ten-site international clinical trial to validate efficacy. To that end, Aifred recently raised a $4 Million seed round from leading institutional and venture investors and is fully funded to attain this benchmark.

BML Technology is proud to support Aifred Health in pursuit of its mission

In our position at the intersection of medical technology, clinical research and patient-centric healthcare, BML Technology is fortunate to work backstage with companies carrying out some of the most innovative and impactful work in digital health today. AIfred Health, an emerging Montreal-based company in the field of artificial intelligence in healthcare, is one of these companies and we are proud to work with them and support them in their mission. 

AIfred in the Montreal Health Tech Ecosystem

Aifred is an emerging company in the Montreal digital health technology ecosystem and counts leading organizations including MEDTEQ+, BDC Capital and the Desjardins Group among its investors and collaborators. This in addition to the District3 Innovation Lab, Centech Accelerator and many other contributors and partners. We are happy to see this collaboration and value creation taking place in Montreal and look forward to the continued success of Aifred, and the improvement in mental health assessment and treatment in Canada and the world.


About BML Technology

BML Technology is an active participant in the digital health industry and expert in the tools, technologies and medical devices involved. BML has advanced competencies in Medical Device Regulatory Strategy, Medical Device Design for Compliance and the Health Canada Regulatory Approval Process and works with many startups, emerging firms and other digital health innovators to get their medical technology solutions compliant with all regulatory requirements.

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BML Technology

At the intersection of medical technology, clinical research and patient-centric health care, we manage the complex stakeholder interactions necessary to get digital health solutions to market and gain adoption.