Medical AI Transcription Startup DeepScribe Raises $30M
Ambient voice AI for medical professionals developer DeepScribe has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round led by Index Ventures’ Nina Achadjian. DeepScribe’s voice assistant records, transcribes, and analyzes conversations between doctors and patients, automatically updating the relevant Electronic Health Record (EHR) and reducing the time physicians have to spend on paperwork. The new funding is an enormous jump in investment from DeepScribe’s $5.2 million seed round just eight months ago, joining the trend of interest in this clinical application of voice AI since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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DeepScribe’s name essentially describes its role as a medical scribe. Doctors don’t have to take notes during conversations with patients or dictate what they can remember after it’s over. The conversation gets recorded, written down, and summarized by the AI for the doctor to look at and approve its addition to the patient’s EHR. Using the tech saves an enormous amount of time, three hours a day on average, according to DeepScribe, at a sixth the price of hiring someone to transcribe and summarize the audio of a conversation. DeepScribe’s founders spent two years working on their voice AI, launching it in 2019. The company claims 400 physicians in the U.S. use its tech, recording more than half a million conversations in the last 18 months. The new funding will fuel plans for a massive and rapid scaling up of the company and the development of new features for the platform.
“We believe that ambient voice technology is the key to transcending AI in medicine from simply delivering workflow efficiencies to actually improving healthcare outcomes,” DeepScribe co-founders Akilesh Bapu and Matthew Ko said in a statement. “Physician-patient conversations have the most rich information, but busy, burned out clinicians do not have the bandwidth to document all of this data and do anything meaningful with it. DeepScribe aims to change that.”
Clinical voice AI tools are rapidly becoming a standard part of healthcare IT. The adoption comes with a commensurate spike in investment and acquisition prices. Oracle’s $28.3 billion purchase of health technology developer Cerner is easily the most prominent example. And while Cerner comes with an extensive portfolio of tech, Oracle explicitly described its plans to expand Cerner’s clinical voice assistants to more physicians in revealing the purchase. Though Nuance is currently undergoing a $19.7 billion acquisition by Microsoft, that happened only after acquiring the medical voice AI startup Saykara. Startups in the same field are raising plenty of money independently. Suki raised $55 million last month, while Notable picked up $100 million in November. Specialized medical services are getting in on the act, too, with Dental voice AI startup Bola and veterinarian-centered Talktoo nabbing plenty of cash as well.