Panel Discussion

We aim to discuss the following questions:

  1. What are some of the different ways AI can be used for mental health disorders? (i.e, prediction, diagnostics, prognostics, etc.)

  2. How can we develop AI apps for mental disorders when there is not enough evidence-based information or peer-reviewed science? 

  3.  How did you manage to get access to training data?

  4. What is your approach to ensuring Fairness in ML-based assessment tools for Mental Health Problems?

  5. What are the practical barriers to the implementation of AI for mental health care?

  6. How can investors and other market participants assess the feasibility, viability, and desirability of mental healthcare-focused machine learning products?

Sergio Escobar has been supporting early-stage startups for 15 years across a variety of stages from inception to growth. He currently works at BCF Ventures, a Montreal-based Corporate Venture Capital fund where he invests in B2B Enterprise Software startups at the Seed & Series a stages across US, Canada and Israel. He is also the Managing Director of Founder Institute Montreal, a pre-seed accelerator program, and he has been awarded several times as best Director worldwide. For 8 years, he has been an active member of the Techstars Global Ecosystem acting as Techstars Startup Weekend Global Facilitator, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Curator at Techstars Startup Digest. Prior to that, he was a multiple times entrepreneur with startups in Aerospace, eCommerce, Manufacturing, AgTech and Financial Technologies. Lastly, he considers himself as a citizen of the world by having lived in Canada, Bolivia, Paraguay and France. Polyglot speaking 5 languages.Over the last 8 years, he has been deeply involved in the international entrepreneurial scene (incubators and accelerators) through his involvement in Founder Institute, Techstars, McGill X-1, Startup Chile, Startup Peru, Startup Bootcamp FinTech London, MsB Tunisia, Flat6Labs Tunisia, Kuwait National Fund, World Bank 'Tech Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean', Krypto Labs in the Middle East and Creative Destruction Lab in Artificial Intelligence.

Mia Eisenstadt is the lead psychologist at Paradym. Paradym is an app designed to increase users’ self-awareness to improve well-being. Mia is completing a PhD in child and adolescent psychology at the Evidence Based Practice Unit , a partnership between UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. Her research is part of the evaluation of Headstart, a national programme seeking to reduce the rate of mental disorder and promote wellbeing in English adolescents. Mia’s interest is in the factors that are reported to reduce mental health disorders and promote well-being, that includes coping, self-care, and help-seeking behaviours. Mia’s thesis explores both deterioration and improvements in mental health and well-being of adolescents, in the search to understand the precursors of mental health disorder. Previously, Mia founded an international company called Reos Partners and co-led the UK office, working on innovation in the areas of conflict resolution, climate change, service redesign and mental health services.

Jacob Flood is a McGill engineer turned entrepreneur, Jacob believes that that key to success is the combination of limitless passion and relentless focus – when the two come together, it’s inspiring to see. Jacob was also a professional STEM tutor and author of Study Smart. He is currently the founder and CEO of Enophone from Montreal, Canada.  He shares knowledge by helping students learn Math from his very own platform JFlood.ca. He is also the author of the book Study Smart: How to get amazing grades with minimal efforts. 

Carlos Guerrero-Mosquera is a Ph.D. in Multimedia and communications (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) and Telecom engineer. With over 10 years of experience in learning models and signal processing, he has deep knowledge in machine learning architectures, designing, and developing models for different sceneries such as healthcare and industry. He is currently working in the research Group on Media Technologies (GTM) at the Universitat Ramon Llull.

Sonia Israel is a healthtech innovator and co-founder of Aifred Health, an award-winning AI startup based in Montreal. The team is pioneering predictive tools for clinical decision support in mental healthcare. Sonia received a BSc in Honours Neuroscience from McGill University, where she was previously founder and president of the McGill Neurotechnology Group. Currently, Sonia also serves as a guest associate editor for Frontiers in AI. 

Resident physician at the University of Toronto in second year of psychiatry postgraduate training. Academic interests include artificial intelligence and machine learning, brain imaging analysis, mental health telemetry, and development of digital clinical tools. Clinical interests include psychosis, neuropsychiatry. and mental health law

Yacine Mahdid is a graduate student at McGill University trained in computational neuroscience (B.A.Sc.) with a specialization in machine learning. Currently working at the Biosignal Interaction and Personhood Technology Lab, his area of research is focused on creating predictive and diagnostic models to detect consciousness in individuals who are not able to speak or move.He is the lead developer of several research grade software, like EEGapp; an automated pipeline for electroencephalographic data analysis, Biomusic; an android platform allowing non-communicative individuals to express themselves using their physiological signals and BCIapp; a transcranial direct-current stimulation compatible brain computer interface.He is also the Chief Technology Officer at GRAD4, a company leveraging machine learning to help manufacturing companies prosper and make better operational decisions by simplifying the subcontracting process.

François Menet is a french computer scientist, former specialist in AI Security. After graduating from the École des Mines de Nancy, he graduated with his Master in Science at Polytechnique Montreal. He is the inventor of Spartan Networks, Deep Neural Networks with superior robustness to cyberattacks. Currently CTO of Myelin, a mental health information and collaboration platform, he fights back against disinformation and biases in impacted communities.

Panel Moderators

Nevicia Case is a PhD Candidate in Psychiatry at McGill University in Montréal Canada, Nevicia’s research focuses on how human decision-making processes and risky behaviours can be affected by depressed mood and alcohol use. Nevicia is also the co-founder and co-president of Health Innovation Initiative, a non-profit organisation which supports health and life science researchers through the early stages of application and commercialisation. In this role, Nevicia has become an advocate for the importance of multi-stakeholder engagement in the innovation process. Drawing from her research experience which spans psychology, psychiatry, neurology, and cognitive neuroscience, she has informed AI projects at the stages of research & development and applications for neurological disorders. She enjoys exploring ways to create social impact through her own work and the work of those she mentors.

Cecilia McGough is a New York City-based mental health activist, writer, media consultant, and radio astronomer. Cecilia also happens to have schizophrenia but does not let her diagnosis define her. Cecilia is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Students With Schizophrenia and content creator for the I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia project. As a TEDx speaker and Special Books By Special Kids interviewee, Cecilia’s videos have been viewed over 20 million times over multiple platforms across the globe and featured in Forbes, Glamour UK, Barcroft TV, and CBS This Morning national news. Cecilia is an UNLEASH talent who traveled to Denmark in August of 2017 to be an active voice towards attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to make sure people with psychosis are represented. Cecilia continues to advocate for diversity in the workplace through The Valuable 500 and Lyfebulb. Also, Cecilia has been selected as the keynote speaker for the Schizophrenia International Research Society 2020 Congress. 

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