Clinical Generative AI Startup Startup Layer Health Raises $4M
Generative AI for medical records startup Layer Health has raised $4 million in a seed funding round from GV (Google Ventures), General Catalyst, and Inception Health. Layer employs large language models (LLMs) and natural language processing through its Distill tool to help healthcare providers, researchers, and other medical professionals glean insights from scattered written medical records.
Researchers at MIT founded Layer Health, which has been in stealth until now. The startup pitches itself as a solution to healthcare information problems. Specifically, gathering, organizing, and making sense of all the notes, tests, patient responses, and other recorded elements of healthcare. Layer’s customers use Distill to collate disorganized medical data and more efficiently complete clerical tasks like submitting and tracking data across clinical specialties. The generative AI model sorts and structures the records to facilitate care improvements and can help inform the best options for clinical trials, accelerating research.
“[T]he most nuanced and valuable data is unstructured and hard to understand, often inaccessible without a team of nurses and data scientists. This issue consumes significant resources across the healthcare ecosystem and makes it difficult to scale new businesses and health innovations,” Layer explained in a blog post. “Behind the scenes, Layer Health’s machine learning (ML) algorithms leverage the power of large language models (LLMs) to deliver accurate results without the need for labeled data, reducing development time from months to as little as a day. Distill also learns and adapts from customer interactions, creating highly efficient customer-specific models fine-tuned for specific use cases.”
Layer is part of the booming clinical healthcare AI field, whose rapid growth only accelerated this year with the introduction of new and better generative AI models. Healthcare giant Oracle recently created a generative AI-powered voice assistant for healthcare providers to automate administrative tasks and carry out voice commands. Similarly, Amazon Web Services (AWS) came out in July with a clinical assistant of its own for healthcare providers called AWS HealthScribe.
Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic has begun incorporating Google’s Med-PaLM 2 LLM into its research hospital, while Microsoft subsidiary Nuance imported OpenAI’s GPT-4 LLM into the Dragon Ambient Intelligence platform medical professionals used to transcribe patient interactions in March. And the British National Health Service is pushing hospitals to adopt generative AI tools with $27 million in grants. Layer is also not alone in attracting significant cash. Clinical AI assistant startup Abridge raised $30 million just last month following the infusion of generative AI features into its real-time conversational AI for medical professionals. That’s before even considering pharmaceutical research, with human trials of a drug conceived and developed using generative AI underway.