We met Marina Massingham, CEO of Aifred Health in May this year and were immediately impressed. Marina has previous founder experience and success, having exited TeOra Health to Aequus Pharmaceuticals in 2015. She’s worked in large companies before, in several industries, and a deep passion for improving healthcare. Marina is the type of entrepreneur that you want to follow and support in any way you can.
Aifred Health, which was started in August 2017, is tackling a huge issue: clinical decision making for mental health issues, with an initial focus on depression. Given the pandemic we’re still in the middle of, this couldn’t be a more important issue. The number of people suffering from mental health issues, and depression specifically, is immense, and unfortunately skyrocketing. Over 300 million people globally suffer from depression and this number is not decreasing. Physicians have few tools to help them effectively select and manage mental health treatments based on the unique characteristics of their individual patients. This leads to a lot of “trial and error” which is frustrating for patients and physicians.
Aifred Health’s technology, including AI-based insights, provide information to physicians on the right treatment for each individual patient.
Marina and her team are world-class. The founding team, including Sonia, Kelly, David and Robert emerged from a project that was started at McGill University. They’ve been recognized internationally for their AI technology and their approach to solving mental health treatment. The opportunity to make people’s lives better and improve how physicians and patients work together is immense.
The funding will be used to support the North American regulatory approval clinical trial designed to test the safety and effectiveness of Aifred Health’s AI technology to inform personalized therapeutic treatment choice for patients suffering from clinical depression. The clinical trial is scheduled to start in Q1 2021 in major U.S. and Canadian hospitals and will enroll approximately 350 patients.
This is the next step in Aifred Health’s journey to helping patients with depression and other mental health issues. As we work with Aifred Health through our corporate-startup collaboration programs, we’re excited about connecting them to new corporate partners and helping them grow in 2021 and beyond. Aifred Health has an important mission, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.