Creating better health care with artificial intelligence tools

$9.5 million to successful projects to advance AI in health.

CALGARY, Alberta, May 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alberta health care is a step closer to getting a boost from artificial intelligence technology that can create better care, support doctors and improve diagnoses and treatment through funding from Alberta Innovates.

Ten university research teams and two private companies are being granted $9.5M through a new program to address barriers that prevent using artificial intelligence in health care. The Enabling Better Health Through Artificial Intelligence program was launched in the Fall of 2023 with a total budget of $8M. Due to the significant number of high-quality proposals submitted, Alberta Innovates reallocated an additional $1.5M to ensure these innovations move forward in Alberta.

Calgary-based Mikata Health Inc. is developing its Mika AI Scribe technology to automate and streamline manual paperwork and data entry performed by doctors and other clinicians. This will free up doctors to focus on patients, improving the patient experience while also reducing physician workloads and burnout. Mikata Health has been granted $800,000 to research and develop the technology, leading privacy, safety, and ethics for AI, and work closely with clinics and with health care teams to test and implement the technology.


“Alberta is a globally respected leader in AI and we aim to become the most innovative jurisdiction in Canada. Our investments in AI research, including the AI Better Health Program, will strengthen our healthcare system and support doctors. By reducing manual paperwork and administrative burdens on physicians, we can help them to focus on what they do best: serving their patients.”

Minister Nate Glubish, Technology and Innovation

“Supporting digital health solutions is one of our core priorities. Our program provides the necessary research funding to help companies and innovators identify and overcome roadblocks to the broader use of artificial intelligence. The goal is faster and better health care for Albertans and the development of new technologies right here in Alberta that can be exported around the world.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

“Mikata Health is pleased to be a recipient of the AI Better Health program. This support allows us to accelerate the development of our AI Scribe technology. The technology addresses critical problems of workloads and burnout for healthcare providers and will also help improve care for Albertans.”

Kyle Nishiyama, CEO & Co-Founder, Mikata Health Inc.

Other projects accepted in the program include:

  • Five research projects at the University of Alberta that include using artificial intelligence to improve Alberta 811 Health Link, better predict opioid overdoses and streamline diagnostic imaging.
  • Five research projects at the University of Calgary that include using artificial intelligence to better identify and treat stroke patients, help prevent hospital-transmitted infection outbreaks, and understand the social determinants of health.
  • One additional private company developing an AI-based decision support tool for patients with coronary artery disease.

Ongoing efforts
As work progresses, Alberta Innovates will maximize the benefits of these projects by coordinating a committee from the health care sector to provide ethical and technical advice. The committee will also support moving the research into direct use in Alberta’s health care system. Support from individual doctors, clinics and the broader health care system will help ensure adoption of the technologies as they develop.

ApplicantProject descriptionFunding
Mikata Health Inc.AI for improved physician efficiency and patient care: Real-world implementation of leading models, privacy, safety, and data integration$800,000
University of AlbertaSCANAID – Screening Congenital Heart Anomalies using Artificial Intelligence Detection$798,857
University of AlbertaAn agile AI pipeline for urgent health conditions requiring diagnostic imaging.$799,662
University of AlbertaDeveloping AI to support timely and informed suggestion-making for Alberta Health Link 811.$783,988
University of AlbertaEvaluation of AI-enabled opioid overdose prediction: from research to real-world$800,000
University of AlbertaEmpowering Navigation and Access to Mental Health Service and Programs: The MIRA Artificial Intelligence Informational Chatbot.$799,447
University of CalgaryAISA: AI-guided identification and auditing of treatment-eligible ischemic strokes in Alberta.$800,000
University of CalgaryStopping hospital-transmitted infection outbreaks by equipping infection prevention and control teams with automated AI-enabled genomic analysis technology.$799,989
University of CalgaryDigital Health Tools & Artificial Intelligence for Understanding and Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Primary Care.$755,500
University of CalgaryAI-enabled individualized health risk prediction for spinal cord injury and beyond.$800,000
University of CalgaryA Scalable Digital Health Platform for the Ethical and Equitable Implementation of Artificial Intelligence Clinical Decision Support (AI-CDS).$795,625
Symbiotic AITowards the implementation and adoption of an AI-based decision support tool for patients with coronary artery disease in real-world clinical settings.$799,969
 Total   $9,533,038

Alberta Innovates
manages nearly 1,300 projects in a portfolio valued at $1.33 billion. We work with innovators in all sectors of the economy and all corners of the province to drive entrepreneurship, applied research and industry development. With our impact-based funding programs and services, we are transforming energy systems for a net-zero world, promoting the responsible use of land and water, leveraging provincial strengths in agriculture, and contributing to improved health and well-being by harnessing digital tech and data. We are also advancing emerging technologies and strengthening entrepreneurship for a strong and diversified economy. We operate in 11 locations with more than one million sq. ft. of industrial testing and lab facilities, and 600 acres of farmland. We employ nearly 600 highly skilled scientists, business and technical professionals. From funding to commercialization, we are Alberta’s innovation engine! See what entrepreneurs say about our coaching and support. Learn how Alberta Innovates.

Dwayne Brunner, Senior Manager, Media and Strategic Community Relations
Alberta Innovates