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Altis Labs Leads Initiative Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to Improve Care for ICU Patients

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

Data-driven tools that predict patients’ risk of deterioration have the potential to affect proactive care and anticipate operational needs to ensure that ICU capacity is available to patients”
— Felix Baldauf-Lenschen, Founder and CEO of Altis

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, April 8, 2021 / -- Altis Labs, Inc. (“Altis”), a clinical information company enabling predictive insights from medical imaging data, 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: Dougal Martin |
Digital Technology Supercluster: Elysa Darling |
Bayer AG: Victoria Vigener |

About Altis Labs
Altis is a clinical information company advancing medical research and knowledge. Altis’ software platform Nota enables researchers and clinicians to operationalize imaging data and leverage predictive imaging insights at scale. Altis is headquartered in Toronto, a city recognized for its deep learning research and leading medical institutions. To learn more, visit |

About Bayer AG
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 41.4 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 4.9 billion euros. For more information, go to

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.

Dougal Martin
Altis Labs
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