Clinical Voice Assistant Startup Abridge Raises $12.5M
Clinical conversational AI startup Abridge has closed a $12.5 million Series A funding round led by Wittington Ventures. Abridge offers medical professionals an AI assistant for real-time notetaking and data organization to reduce physician burnout and improve patient care.
Abridge’s platform combines conversational AI to transcribe and analyze discussions between doctors and patients as they happen. The AI can link relevant databases to different moments in the conversation to help the doctor treat the patient as well as ensure compliance when it comes to billing. Abridge’s AI includes natural language processing trained on a dataset with more than 1.5 million medical conversations and scientific papers. The AI can integrate and help fill in Electronic Health Records (EHR) with relevant information, taking over the data entry duties and giving doctors more time and energy to focus on patients. Abridge claims to have assisted more than 2,000 healthcare professionals care for ten times that many patients.
“I became a cardiologist to help my patients improve their health, but the reality was that I was spending more time on my notes than with my patients,” Abridge CEO Dr. Shivdev Rao said. “Abridge is the solution I always wanted myself, as a physician and as a patient — an AI-based service that leverages conversations I had with my patients to not only draft my documentation but also with the capability to send detailed care plans to them and improve the quality of their care.”
AI assistants for healthcare professionals have seen an enormous boom in recent years, fueled partly by the COVID-19 pandemic prompting the industry to accelerate technology adoption. Abridge has raised $27 million with the new investment, but it faces plenty of competition from rival startups with deep-pocketed investors. Medical voice AI startups Suki and Notable have raised $95 million and $100 million, respectively, while Microsoft purchased Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion not long after Nuance acquired clinical AI platform Saykara. The boom has extended to AI for more specialized medical services like dental-focused Bola and veterinarian-centered Talktoo.