Altis Labs leads initiative leveraging artificial intelligence to improve ICU care

Collaboration with Bayer, Digital Technology Supercluster, and Canadian hospitals will apply AI to medical imaging to support operational decision making

Toronto, Ontario – Altis Labs, Inc. (“Altis”), a clinical information company providing computational imaging tools to advance precision medicine, announced today an initiative focused on optimizing patient care and hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity. In collaboration with the Digital Technology Supercluster, Bayer AG, and

Canadian hospital networks, the Improving ICU Capacity During COVID-19 Outbreaks project leverages Altis’ artificial intelligence technology applied to standard-of-care medical images like chest x-rays and CTs to predict ICU admission and duration of stay for patients diagnosed with pulmonary infections caused by COVID-19 who are admitted to the hospital.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated the strain on our healthcare infrastructure. Many ICUs have seen surges in critically ill patients over the past year. Technology will be instrumental in meeting this crisis head-on, and this project is an excellent example of the collaborative innovation at the heart of the Digital Supercluster’s COVID-19 program. By focusing on a specific need, the stakeholders are laying the groundwork for future applications of this technology to manage critical resources during the COVID-19 crisis, and beyond,” said Sue Paish, CEO of the Digital Technology Supercluster.

Altis, which recently launched its clinical information platform Nota to operationalize medical imaging and accelerate therapeutic development, is leading the initiative.

“Before COVID-19, the average ICU in Canada already exceeded capacity 50 days per year,” said Felix Baldauf-Lenschen, Founder and CEO of Altis. “We know that delays in ICU admission caused by patient surges negatively impact patient outcomes.”

“Data-driven tools that predict patients’ risk of deterioration have the potential to affect more proactive care and anticipate operational needs to ensure that ICU capacity is available to patients who need it. Medical imaging already plays a key part in the standard-of-care, but we expect that our machine learning tools will help generate further actionable prognostic insights. Once the interim results are available, we will be able to move forward for prospective testing at Canadian hospitals,” added Baldauf-Lenschen.

Predicting ICU admission for patients with pulmonary infections will have utility beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, pneumonia was the seventh leading cause of death in Canada and was responsible for over one million hospitalizations in North America.

“Pneumonia accounts for more hospital costs than stroke, diabetes, and myocardial infarction combined. The pandemic has brought challenges like these into sharper focus” said Dr. Carola Schmidt, Altis’ Director of Medical Imaging. “Our goal is to improve patient outcomes during the current pandemic and lay the groundwork for a lasting positive impact on the quality of care in Canada.”

Bayer AG, which has already been collaborating with Altis in other disease areas, is sponsoring the project

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bayer Radiology team has continued to find new and innovative ways to support radiologists and hospitals,” says Jerry Orban, Bayer Country Head Canada, Radiology. “This partnership represents an extension of that commitment, to further advance our shared goal of supporting patients during these challenging times.”

Media Contacts

Altis Labs:
Digital Technology Supercluster: Elysa Darling |
Bayer AG: Victoria Vigener |

About Altis Labs

Altis Labs is a clinical information company providing computational imaging tools to advance precision medicine. Altis’ software platform Nota enables researchers to operationalize imaging data and leverage predictive imaging insights at scale. Life sciences companies use Nota to accelerate and optimize R&D of their most promising therapies across all stages of clinical development. Altis is headquartered in Toronto, a city recognized for its deep learning research and medical institutions.

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About Bayer AG

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2019, the Group employed around 104,000 people and had sales of 43.5 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.9 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.3 billion euros.

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About the Digital Technology Supercluster

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster solves some of industry and society’s biggest problems through Canadian-made digital technologies. We bring together private and public sector organizations of all sizes to address challenges facing Canada’s health care, natural resources, manufacturing, transportation and other key sectors. Through collaborative innovation, the Supercluster helps to drive solutions better than any single organization could on its own. The Digital Technology Supercluster is led by industry leaders such as D-Wave, LifeLabs, LlamaZOO, Lululemon, MDA, Microsoft, Mosaic Forest Management, Sanctuary AI, Teck Resources Limited, TELUS, Terramera and 1Qbit. Together, we work to position Canada as a global hub for digital innovation.