New collaboration to improve the detection of type 2 diabetes in high-risk patients starts in Montreal, Quebec

The project will use artificial intelligence (A.I.), wearable technologies and electronic health record systems to identify patients who may have type 2 diabetes in Montreal, Quebec

Montreal, QC (April 19, 2022) – The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., HOP Tech, and MEDTEQ+ are proud to announce a new, three-year partnership to research and develop artificial intelligence (A.I.)-based technology to better screen for and identify type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in people 35 and up with cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

One in three Canadians has diabetes or prediabetes,[i] with T2DM accounting for up to 95 per cent of all diagnoses.[ii] Unfortunately, many Canadians are often screened for T2DM when they show T2DM-related health issues, such as heart disease and kidney damage.[iii],[iv]  Using A.I.-based technologies to enhance screening measures, we can help reduce T2DM-related healthcare system burdens.

“Diabetes is a complex disease where Canadians often do not get diagnosed until they experience a significant health event. Therefore, we need to continue working collaboratively to find innovative ways to prevent and address diabetes diagnoses and ensure that everyone has timely access to the care they need,” says Andrea Sambati, President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Canada. “With this partnership, we aim to make a positive impact for those living with type two diabetes.”

The DECIDE-CV program is one of the first of its kind in Canada, and one of the first multi-disciplinary collaborations aimed at using A.I.-based technologies to improve health outcomes for those with T2DM. Individuals in the program will use wearable devices to monitor T2DM-specific indicators and send that data to their healthcare team through electronic health records.

“Many people have developed T2DM and don’t know it until a major cardiovascular event occurs. In addition, there needs to be continual screening for T2DM among patients with cardiovascular risk factors,”[v] says Dr. Abhinav Sharma, Chief of the DECIDE-CV clinic at McGill University Health Centre and a member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Guideline committee focused on diabetes and heart failure. “We are excited to join our partners in developing the DECIDE-CV program. With increased monitoring, doctors can quickly tailor their approach in caring for each patient based on their needs and the information collected – ultimately, improving population-level screening for T2DM in Canada.”

“Projects like DECIDE-CV signal a paradigm shift in healthcare. We are transitioning from treating health issues when they arise to preventive care that keeps individuals from getting sick in the first place. Philanthropy plays an important role in this shift—government funding alone cannot facilitate such a fundamental change in our health system. The MUHC Foundation is proud to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim and Dr. Sharma to help Canadians stay healthier and live longer,” says Julie Quenneville, President and CEO of the MUHC Foundation.

The program will start their trials in Spring 2022. To learn more about T2DM and the DECIDE-CV program, visit www.decidecv.ca.


About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.

Boehringer Ingelheim is working on breakthrough therapies that transform lives, today and for generations to come. As a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company, the company creates value through innovation in areas of high unmet medical need. Founded in 1885 and family-owned ever since, Boehringer Ingelheim takes a long-term perspective. More than 52,000 employees serve over 130 markets in the three business areas, Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs approximately 500 people across Canada. Learn more at www.boehringer-ingelheim.ca.

About the Research Institute of the MUHC

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) is a world-renowned biomedical and healthcare research centre. The Institute, which is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, is the research arm of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) – an academic health centre located in Montreal, Canada, that has a mandate to focus on complex care within its community. The RI-MUHC supports over 420 researchers and close to 1,200 research trainees devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental, clinical and health outcomes research at the Glen and the Montreal General Hospital sites of the MUHC. Its research facilities offer a dynamic multidisciplinary environment that fosters collaboration and leverages discovery aimed at improving the health of individual patients across their lifespan. The RI-MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). www.rimuhc.ca

About HOP TechHOP Tech

HOP Tech digital human phenotyping platform integrates proprietry wearable technology, mobile apps, and a vast library of machine learning algorithms that foster breakthrough discovery of digital biomarkers. With business verticals in sensor technology, clinical research and remote patient monitoring, the company provides patient identification and stratification solutions for health payers and providers as well as public health systems and services. HOP Tech has established joint ventures with renowned university hospitals and key market leaders who seek efficient and low cost deployment of preventive approaches and patient centric treatment for the clinical areas of respiratory infections (including COVID-19); type 2 diabetes; heart failure and neuroscience. HOP Tech is a women-led corporation with in-depth ESG commitments towards diversity and inclusion, low carbon emission footprint and impact investments. https://hoptech.ca

About MEDTEQ+

The mission of the Pan-Canadian Consortium for Industrial Research and Innovation in Medical Technologies (MEDTEQ+) is to accelerate the development of innovative technological solutions to improve the health status and quality of life of patients. MEDTEQ+ supports the validation of these technologies, their integration into the healthcare network, and their local and international outreach by bringing together the complementary skills of industrial and institutional partners and healthcare providers. MEDTEQ+ relies on the financial support of the Government of Quebec, the Government of Canada (through the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program), the private sector, and complementary partners to foster research-industry relationships. https://www.medteq.ca/

About the MUHC Foundation

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation raises funds to support excellence in patient care, research and teaching at the McGill University Health Centre, one of the top university hospitals in Canada. Our Dream Big Campaign to change the course of lives and medicine is raising millions of dollars to solve humanity’s deadliest puzzles: infectious diseases; end cancer as a life-threatening illness; fix broken hearts through innovative cardiac care; detect the silent killers—ovarian and endometrial cancers—early; create the best skilled health care teams in Canada; and much more. We are rallying our entire community to solve the world’s most complex health care challenges.


[i] Diabetes Canada. (2019). One in three Canadians is living with diabetes or prediabetes, yet knowledge of risk and complications of disease remains low. Diabetes Canada website. Retrieved 9 February 2022, from https://www.diabetes.ca/media-room/press-releases/one-in-three-canadians-is-living-with-diabetes-or-prediabetes,-yet-knowledge-of-risk-and-complicatio.

[ii] Diabetes Canada. Type 2 diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes/type-2

[iii] Diabetes in Canada: Backgrounder. Ottawa: Diabetes Canada; 2020. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.ca/DiabetesCanadaWebsite/media/Advocacy-and-Policy/Backgrounder/2020_Backgrounder_Canada_English_FINAL.pdf

[iv] Rawshani, A., Rawshani, A., Franzén, S., Sattar, N., Eliasson, B., & Svensson, A. et al. (2018). Risk Factors, Mortality, and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. New England Journal Of Medicine, 379(7), 633-644. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejmoa1800256

[v] Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee. Diabetes Canada 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. Can J Diabetes. 2018;42(Suppl 1):S1-S325. https://guidelines.diabetes.ca/cpg/chapter4