Abridge team founders

Abridge Raises $150M for Automating Medical Documentation and Plans to Create Generative AI Foundation Models

Abridge announced a new $150 million funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. The new funding arrived just three months after the company closed its $30 million Series B led by Spark Capital. It is unusual for a company to have such large funding rounds over such a short period of time.

The new funding is coupled with an announcement that Abridge has landed an “enterprise agreement with Yale New Haven Health System, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, that will give thousands of clinicians access to Abridge for clinical documentation. Yale New Haven Health has selected Abridge as their generative AI partner in this area of ambient listening. The initial deployment will be focused on reducing the cognitive burden of clinical documentation, enabling clinicians to spend more face-to-face time engaging with patients instead of computers.”

However, the new funding will not just be spent on supporting market expansion. The announcement discussed a plan to invest in fundamental research and foundation models. While the company began with an NLP-based solution and augmented that with generative AI and research over the past year, the shift into foundation model development is clearly the key driver in the latest funding round. It also likely drove a significant rise in valuation.

An Epic Partnership

The previous funding round announcement focused on Abridge’s partnership with Epic and serving hospitals using its electronic medical records systems, such as UPMC, Emory, and the University of Kansas. Voicebot’s Eric Schwartz wrote at the time:

“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 millions of medical conversations and scientific papers.

“The AI has generated over 91% of the notes across more than 40 specialties…The startup recently became AI firm Epic’s first partner in a new integration program to embed Abridge’s real-time documentation system directly into Epic’s clinical workflows.”

Generative AI in Healthcare

Generative AI is likely to have an outsized impact on healthcare because the industry deals with so many documents in unstructured text format. Abridge is in an interesting space because it is starting to accumulate a lot of data on medical interactions between doctors and patients while also having hooks into the medical records systems. This means it may have an advantage in training large language models (LLM) focused on healthcare.

Abridge isn’t the only company riding interest in this growing segment. Ambience announced a $70 million funding round earlier this month. Historically, the leader for these types of use cases has been Nuance, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2021. However, Nuance was built on legacy technologies. The race is on to be the leader in the generative AI phase of development for clinical care.

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