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 human-assisted medical diagnosis support system. ‘AI.
It had previously 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.
The announced funding includes advisory 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 with 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.
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 agencies, 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.
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 line of 100% organic and biodegradable tampons and pads at the end of 2022. She took advantage of new federal regulations to develop a turnkey solution for affected companies. “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 have found a place in 400 restrooms of businesses of all sizes across Canada. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) alone will offer Alea products in its 170 washrooms across the country. Other doors will certainly open.
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