Alum startup deploys AI at Grand River Hospital

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) med-tech startup Signal 1 deployed its predictive software at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener this month to improve operational efficiencies.

Co-founded by Waterloo Engineering alumnus Tomi Poutanen (BASc ’96, computer engineering), Signal 1’s ‘Patient Discharge Solution’ aims to help nurses, doctors and other clinicians make more efficient use of beds by predicting which patients will be ready for discharge within 48 hours.

Canada’s health-care system is grappling with capacity shortages. By applying AI to patient data, Signal 1’s software will analyze existing health data sources to assess and predict patient risk levels and improve the flow of patient admissions and discharges.

Tomi PoutanenTomi Poutanen, co-founder and CEO of Signal 1. 

“When it comes to AI health-care, we didn’t need a new AI breakthrough to create value here,” Poutanen, the company’s CEO, said in an interview. “I think we just needed to approach the problem differently.”

The company’s long-term goal is to create more capacity in Canada’s health-care system.

Grand River Hospital is the first in Canada to use the software in a pilot program, which runs until the end of March.

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