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Nigerian-owned firm to study babies’ cries with $2.5m

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A firm, Ubenwa Secures, has received $2.5 million in funding to help parents and clinicians understand an infant’s cry.

Ubenwa Secures, which is based in Montreal, Canada, was co-founded by its Nigerian Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charles Onu.

The firm is a pioneering developer of diagnostic software for the rapid detection of medical anomalies in infant cry sounds.

In a statement Onu said: “Ubenwa is building a diagnostic tool that understands when a baby’s cry is a cry for medical attention.


“Ultimately, our goal is to be a translator for baby cry sounds, providing a non-invasive way to monitor medical conditions everywhere you find a baby: delivery rooms, neonatal and paediatric intensive care units, nurseries, and in the home.”

He explained that the technology is based on a foundation of scientific research developed in close collaboration with Montreal’s AI research institute, Mila, and six hospitals in three countries, including Montreal Children’s Hospital, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, Rivers State Teaching Hospital in Nigeria and Santa Casa de Misericordia in Brazil.

The company is said to have the largest and most diverse clinically annotated database of infant cry sounds, an essential asset for the development of audio-based biomarkers.

Ubenwa Secures said it received the funding through an announcement of pre-seed financing that attracted top AI venture funds and researchers, AI-focused Radical Ventures and AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio.

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