Clinical Voice Assistant Startup Suki Debuts Upgraded AI Platform
Clinical voice assistant developer Suki has created a new voice platform with improved artificial intelligence. The Suki Speech Service, referred to by the company as S3, makes Suki’s voice assistant faster, more accurate, and flexible enough that professionals outside of the healthcare sector could use it.
Suki’s current voice assistant is built to reduce the amount of time and energy doctors spend on administrative tasks and records. The voice assistant records, transcribes, and organizes a doctor’s conversations with a patient and any notes on the case. Suki can then automatically complete the data entry necessary for Electronic Health Records (EHR). With much of the tedious paperwork taken care of by the voice assistant, the doctor has more time to care for patients and is less likely to burn out. According to a recent white paper published by Suki, using its technology ups the time a doctor spends with a patient by 12% by cutting note-taking time by 76%. That’s good news for the patient, but it also brings a financial benefit of $30,000 more in revenue a year on average for doctors.
S3 extends that efficiency even further. The updated platform incorporates data collected by Suki, teaching the AI to respond to users faster and more accurately than could be done before. The collected data also adds to the AI’s flexibility in understanding and interpreting voice commands. Doctors can communicate with the voice assistant more casually without confusing it, and complete their tasks without having to think through the precise language to use to get their point across. The updated system also includes a new mobile app for Android that doctors can use to make notes when not in their office. With the current COVID-19 health crisis unlikely to end any time soon, even relatively small reductions in the time doctors spend on paperwork can make a difference not only when it comes to patient care, but in slowing the burnout rate of doctors, as overwhelming paperwork is a leading reason for physicians to leave the field of healthcare behind them.
“We are proud to introduce what we believe is the most intelligent and responsive voice platform in health care,” Suki vice president of engineering Jatin Chhugani said in a statement. “We’ve incorporated cutting-edge AI concepts such as contextual subword embeddings, neural network-based fast classifiers, and entity extraction models to deliver an intuitive experience for doctors that saves them even more time.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a lot of additional attention and interest in bringing voice technology to healthcare right now. That doesn’t mean Suki and its investors aren’t thinking beyond just one sector. Funding for the research and development that led to the S3 platform came in part from the $20 million Series B funding round led by Flare Capital Partners that Suki closed in March, just about two years after closing a previous $20 million combination seed and Series A round led by Venrock. That kind of investment, plus Suki’s own growing revenue stream, is why the S3 platform is already matching or outperforming other voice assistants, with a 99.5% accuracy rate, according to the company. At that level, the voice assistant is plenty capable of working with people in other industries.
Suki will certainly find plenty of potential customers and rivals when it comes to enterprise voice AI. There are mainstays like Gridspace, which uses its Sift platform for transcribing and examining conversations with customers for useful information, along with other startups closing huge funding rounds such as Observe AI’s $26 million or the $75 million that Goldman Sachs invested in CallMiner. That said, a voice assistant that can operate with the speed and accuracy that Suki claims should have no trouble making its voice heard in the increasingly crowded enterprise voice assistant landscape.