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Deepgram Ups Healthcare Services, Offers $1M of AI Voice Transcription Services to Medical Care Providers

Speech recognition technology startup Deepgram is donating $1 million worth of its automatic speech transcription and analysis platform to assist medical providers during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Doctor’s Helper

Deepgram’s AI platform is designed around recording, transcribing, and analyzing phone calls, meetings, and other audio interactions for a variety of businesses. The startup’s claim that it can outperform the industry standard of accuracy without losing speed or raising costs has drawn interest from several industries, including healthcare. The coronavirus pandemic prompted Deepgram to look at donating its technology to some medical providers, Deepgram CEO Scott Stephenson told Voicebot in an interview.

“We’re trying to reduce the load in healthcare, it’s all hands on deck,” Stephenson said. Healthcare has sort of lagged behind in the tech world; it’s our goal to provide an underlying service that reduces the load for medical workers.”

Deepgram is in a good spot financially, Stephenson said. The startup recently closed a $12 million Series A funding round led by Wing VC along with NVIDIA, Y Combinator, and other investors. He said the pandemic hasn’t changed the company’s plans for rolling out new features and scaling, just adjusted the focus and emphasized healthcare as a vertical.

“The funding definitely helps increased confidence, and there has been a shift in focus toward healthcare,” Stephenson said. Overall there hasn’t been a slow down or a massive uptick.”

The organizations taking advantage of Deepgram’s offer vary in size, but each of the selected medical providers is eligible for up to $50,000 of Deepgram’s services. Their needs will vary based on how big they are and the services they provide, but the donation will end up helping between 20 and 50 groups, Stephenson said.

“We’ve aided some companies in this space previously, but there’s a tremendous shift right now,” Deepgram head of product Natalie Rutgers told Voicebot. “A whole bunch of providers are relying on human transcription, but now can rely on us. This build is more specific for the healthcare industry. “It can be HIPAA-compliant and used by hospitals and private practices.”

Transcription Prescription

Though humans are still going to be the most accurate overall, applying AI to medical transcription and analysis is becoming more popular, both Rutgers and Stephenson said. The global medical crisis is highlighting the number of AI tools and solutions available. Amazon came out in December with Amazon Transcribe Medical, an automated transcription service for medical professionals, while Nuance and Microsoft have partnered to upgrade and merge Nuance’s Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant with Microsoft’s Azure platform.

Other startups offering related services to medical professionals are also on the rise. The list includes medical voice assistant developer Saykara, which has raised $9 million from investors and Suki, which has channeled $40 million in funding to integrating into broader products as well as providing a standalone product. According to Stephenson, Deepgram is flexible enough to function in tandem with other services as well as on its own. That’s ultimately a good thing for medical practitioners.

“There isn’t one magic bullet to solve all of your speech problems, at least not yet,” Stephenson said. It will be a while before a company has any semblance of all of the needed [services] in high quality. The market is really large, but it’s early. [Startups in the space] can be very strategically helping each other.”


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