Ubenwa partners with top Neonatologist in Nigeria to validate tool for cry-based neurological screening in newborns

MONTRÉAL, July 16, 2021

Ubenwa Health has launched today a new clinical study in collaboration with the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The new study is aimed at validating the capability of Ubenwa’s technology to rapidly identify the onset of neurological injury in neonates.

The principal investigator, Dr Boma West, is a leading neonatologist whose seminal work on incidence and risk factors of birth asphyxia shed new light on the gravity of the condition. Dr West is assisted by Dr Datonye Briggs, as co-Principal Investigator. The investigators will recruit up to 400 patients to obtain clinically-annotated data that will be instrumental in enhancing the accuracy and robustness of Ubenwa’s screening tool in detecting brain injury sequel to perinatal asphyxia.

The launch was made possible through funding and support from the Crown Prince Court (CPC) of Abu Dhabi, the Patrick J McGovern Foundation and MIT Solve. The CPC and partners are committed to ending preventable diseases that affect the world’s most vulnerable communities, which aligns perfectly with Ubenwa’s vision of developing globally accessible and affordable diagnostic solutions for newborns.

Ubenwa continues existing international partnerships with clinicians whose research has advanced our understanding of asphyxia in the neonate. Prominent among these include Dr Uchenna Ekwochi at the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria and Prof. Guilherme Sant’Anna at the McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, Canada.

About Ubenwa

Ubenwa Health is developing a proprietary sound-based diagnostic software to help healthcare professionals rapidly detect and monitor signs of asphyxia, hearing loss, infections, and other neurological conditions in infants. Ubenwa’s AI-powered technology achieves this by extracting acoustic biomarkers in the infant’s cry. This is a significant improvement over current assessment methods that are costly, time-consuming, require training and are non-trivial to conduct frequently. The technology has applications in primary health care, clinical trials, and in guiding neurodevelopmental care.

Ubenwa’s technology is undergoing clinical validation in collaboration with neonatologists in Brazil, Canada and Nigeria. The company is backed by several partners including the Québec AI Institute (Mila), the World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), District 3 Innovation Centre and the Québec Ministry for Economy and Innovation. For more information, visit www.ubenwa.ai