Dr. David Benrimoh, CEO and CMO of Aifred Health (aifred health.com), a mental health AI company, provides an interesting overview of the complexities within the mental health branch of medicine and the challenge to improve mental health diagnoses. Dr. Benrimoh is a physician currently training to be a psychiatrist. He is engaged in neuroimaging research at McGill, where he is completing his residency. Dr. Benrimoh is also pursuing a masters in neuroscience at University College, London.
Dr. Benrimoh’s company, Aifred Health, is comprised of a diverse team of scientists and physicians, from neuroscientists to computer scientists, biochemists and specialized physicians who work together to solve problems in the field of mental health. Aifred Health’s primary objective is to solve the complex problem of mental health treatment selection.
Dr. Benrimoh details some of the current issues in mental health. The physician explains that while the demand for mental health services has grown exponentially, service providers, mental health professionals, and mental health clinics are at or nearing capacity, which may deprive those in need of the care they are seeking. But beyond the problem of meeting needs, Dr. Benrimoh states that the most critical problem is the simple fact that people do not recover or find relief from treatment fast enough.
As many sufferers can find relief when matched with the proper treatment, whether that is psychotherapy or drug therapy or a combination thereof, it is Benrimoh’s mission to aid in the process of matching people with the appropriate treatment sooner, so they can recover. He expresses the importance of matching people with treatment right away because in some cases, especially regarding depression, waiting to receive treatment simply allows the problem to take hold. Benrimoh’s goal is to match sufferers with the proper treatment 75% of the time, the first time they reach out for help.
The health CEO discusses the many problems that arise in the diagnosis of specific mental health disorders. Unfortunately, the range of symptoms is often so broad that some sufferers are offered improper treatment that may not provide them with the most efficient solution. Traditional questionnaires have long provided the basic information on sufferers to aid in the diagnosis of their mental health challenges. However, Dr. Benrimoh’s team at Aifred Health seeks to use deep machine learning and AI to dig deeper, and pull out more significant data on sufferers to enable proper treatment to be assigned sooner, and hopefully bring a quicker end to the suffering.
By utilizing data from the NIMH (National Institutes of Mental Health) and other sources, Aifred Health’s technological approach using AI is able to predict suicidal ideations with a 70% accuracy, from mental health population surveys. Additionally, their approach is able to consider data in regard to 4 different types of drugs and make assessments with an 80% accuracy as to whether the particular drug will be effective with a specific sufferer. Alarmingly, depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide and is the biggest disease on the planet—bar none. At any given time, 322,000,000 people are depressed, thus Dr. Benrimoh’s primary focus is on the improvement of efficiency and efficacy of depression treatments.