Digital Health Startup Aifred Wins Global AI Challenge, Plans to Expand Clinical Trials


Digital Health Startup Aifred Wins Global AI Challenge, Plans to Expand Clinical Trials

Aifred Health, a Montreal-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to personalize treatment selection in depression, placed second in the $5 million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition, which seeks to accelerate adoption of scalable AI technologies to solve some of the toughest global challenges.

  • Aifred’s founders want to tackle the treatment choice dilemma for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who are prescribed medications to help them in their battle with depression.
  • Aifred’s AI model predicts probabilities of remission against available medications based on the unique characteristics of each individual patient, according to the company. IBM Watson Health provides Aifred Health with millions of records of observational depression data to improve its ML models.
  • Aifred will use the $1 million prize along with its C$4 million seed financing to fund the North American clinical trial required to attain the FDA and Health Canada approval for its AI decision support, the company said in the statement. 
  • Zzapp Malaria, which uses AI models to help eliminate malaria, and Marinus Analytics, a company on a mission to fight human trafficking, won the first and the third spots in the competition.
  • The finalists were selected out of a pool of 10 companies who had presented their solutions to a panel of judges last year.  In total, over 150 teams throughout the world joined the challenge. 

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