SME universe | YULCOM: 2 million for help with AI-assisted medical diagnosis

The prognosis is excellent.




YULCOM Technologies is venturing into the medical sector, but its financial health is ensured by a transfusion of new money.

The Montreal company, specializing in software design, systems integration and artificial intelligence, has raised funding of two million dollars over two years for the development of its system to aid medical diagnosis assisted by ‘AI.

Until now, it had focused more on financial applications and e-learning in international markets – YULCOM has 14 offices in 13 countries.

“We are currently developing a decision support system for doctors, more specifically radiologists, to analyze medical imaging more quickly,” explains Youmani Jérôme Lankoandé, president and CEO of YULCOM.

Pressed for time and rushing patients, radiologists will be able to rely on image analysis assistance “which will clear the way, as we like to say, to allow them to concentrate on the essentials.” “.

In progress for more than a year, the project was the subject of a first grant in 2022 from the federal government to support research partnerships with South Korean manufacturers of medical equipment.

Because “our solution integrates what we call the Internet of Things (IOT)”, describes the president of YULCOM.

By combining diagnostic support software with portable medical imaging devices, “we offer turnkey solutions to do this work in remote regions, for example in indigenous territories, northern regions or villages that do not are not well served.

Artificial intelligence comes into play in the predictive interpretation of magnetic resonance images, drawing on data already recorded. “Intelligence will learn based on these images,” summarizes the president.

A model of intelligence!

The announced funding includes consulting services and up to $254,000 awarded through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). “The rest is the company itself and partners,” says Mr. Lankoandé.

These funds will “help us in research and development and pre-commercialization experimentation,” he specifies. Pre-marketing will begin next year. »

The YULCOM team is currently developing its artificial intelligence model, which must adapt both to the specificities of the targeted populations and the characteristics of their health systems.

“The solution itself is universal, but in the field of health, you cannot use the same artificial intelligence models from one region to another,” says the entrepreneur.

“The advantage we have is the fact that we are present in several countries. We decided to involve our different offices. »

YULCOM, which has around a hundred employees and as many freelancers, has opened offices in the United States, Colombia, Belgium, Morocco and eight West African countries.

“We want to be able to tackle all these markets from the start,” he says.

But the operating field is rather crowded.

“There are still several players in our field,” recognizes the businessman. However, there are many diseases. For example, many companies are interested in cancer, in Montreal and in Canada. We are interested in lung diseases. And there are also around ten lung diseases. Among these, we chose a disease. »

A disease that he does not want to name, for competitive reasons.

His company had itself experienced intensive care.

Tailor-made

Born in Burkina Faso, Youmani Jérôme Lankoandé holds a master’s degree in political economy at Laval University, where he was involved in the student movement.

Fascinated by technological innovation, in 2012 he co-founded a company dedicated to marketing Quebec know-how abroad, aptly named Innovation Québec. “Our first mission was to export Quebec software internationally,” he says. And in 2015, we almost went bankrupt. »

Youmani Jérôme Lankoandé did not need artificial intelligence to make the right diagnosis: “We understood that people did not want ready-to-wear software, but software that was tailor-made. »

The company took the name YULCOM to develop applications tailored to the measurements of its customers.

“We started to diversify geographically in 2016. And in 2017, we launched into artificial intelligence. »

Supported by Investissement Québec, YULCOM has notably entered into a partnership with Développement international Desjardins to help it design a digital service offering for the benefit of marginalized populations in developing countries.

“Our clients are mainly government organizations, for example in Africa, and international institutions such as the World Bank and the World Health Organization,” he describes.

Help with medical diagnosis opens up a new world for him.

PHOTO PROVIDED BY ALEA PROTECTION

Roxane Champagne-Duval launched the Alea Protection range of 100% organic and biodegradable tampons and pads at the end of 2022.

The happy vagaries of Alea

Since December 15, federally regulated employers must provide free sanitary napkins and tampons to employees in their workplace. Nearly half a million people will benefit from this measure in Canada. A vast market of which the Quebec company Alea Protection intends to carve out a small, but significant, share. Its founder Roxane Champagne-Duval launched a range of 100% organic and biodegradable tampons and napkins at the end of 2022. She took advantage of new federal regulations to develop a turnkey solution for the companies concerned. “We have developed beautiful displays in Quebec and we offer monthly or quarterly delivery of products according to needs,” she explained in a press release. “We even take care of internal marketing and the visual documentation offered to employees in order to clearly explain this new initiative to them. » In three months of pre-sale, Alea Protection products found a place in 400 restrooms in businesses of all sizes across Canada. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) alone will offer Alea products in its 170 toilets across the country. Other doors will certainly open.

A grant of $200,000 for an application of Protect yourself

The rigorous non-profit organization undoubtedly applied diligently for its application. Protect yourself announced in December that it had received a $200,000 grant from the Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks to develop its application The Decoder, which allows consumers to quickly identify ecological logos on products… and to gauge their relevance. The mobile app – and free – aims to help consumers make informed and responsible choices by guiding them towards products with real environmental benefits. Launched in 2022, The Decoder presents a directory including the evaluation of more than 80 ecological logos in six categories: food, housekeeping, clothing, cosmetics, electronics and household appliances. For example, the Shell-Carbon Neutral Driving eco-label received a poor evaluation (one red circle), while the Canada Organic logo received two green circles (very good overall rating). The grant, spread over three years, will notably allow Protect yourself to improve its repertoire by increasing the number of categories and logos. We don’t know that the application The Decoder has been the subject of a critical test in the journal Protect yourself.

IMAGE PROVIDED BY ECOSURF CANADA

Audi’s Aerofoil E-Tron electric surfboard will be distributed in Quebec by Ecosurf Canada.

The wing board lands and flies away

Several manufacturers are working on projects for an electric board with a carrying wing, or foil board (pronounced foïle). Or E-foil. Or hydrofoil board. The Quebec SME Ecosurf Canada announced that it would be the exclusive distributor in Quebec of Audi’s Aerofoil E-Tron electric surfboard. The Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu company has been promoting this booming activity since 2021. The hydrofoil board is powered – silently – by electricity. As soon as it reaches the necessary lift, the submerged wing of the Aerofoil E-Tron lifts the board above the water surface. It will undoubtedly also arouse enthusiasm at the Montreal International Boat Show, which will be held from February 8 to 11 at the Palais des congrès. The retail price of Aerofoil E-Tron is $18,000 to $22,000, but a rental option will be possible. To avoid making waves in the nautical industry, it should be remembered that various businesses already rent and distribute other brands. Manufacturing Quebec is not left out. BRP will present its own wing board, the Sea-Doo Rise, at the Montreal Boat Show. The electric board will be available during the summer.

THE NUMBER

– 70%

In 2024, demand for print marketing services in Quebec SMEs is expected to plunge by 69.7%. This is one of the trends that the platform for connecting companies and suppliers helloDarwin has drawn from the analysis of the 13,000 projects carried out since its founding in 2017.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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