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Abridge raises $12.5M for AI-backed medical scribe


AI-enabled medical documentation startup Abridge announced Thursday it had scooped up $12.5 million in Series A-1 funding. 

The round was led by Wittington Ventures with participation from existing investors including Union Square Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Pillar Venture Capital and UPMC Enterprises. New investors Canadian computer scientist and AI expert Yoshua Bengio and Whistler Capital also joined the raise.

Abridge said the latest round brings the company’s funding pot to $27 million.

WHAT THEY DO

The startup offers an AI tool that records and transcribes conversations between providers and patients. It then organizes and summarizes that information, pulling important details such as health conditions, symptoms and care plans to the top of the report.

The tool can also send notes back to EHRs and integrate with telehealth services, according to Abridge.

The company officially launched in 2020, backed by $15 million raised across seed and Series A rounds of funding. At the time, Abridge’s app was pitched as a way to help patients track their medical care, learn more about their diagnosis and medications, and manage next steps. 

Dr. Shivdev Rao, CEO and founder of Abridge, told MobiHealthNews that the company felt the tool could have immediate impact for patients and families, but it took years of research to prepare it for provider use. 

“It almost feels like you’ve got an intern in the corner who’s doing your work for you, taking your notes for you,” he said. “I think the more aspirational vision that we started with was that this can create value for everyone involved. And so now we’ve got the provider piece, the hardest piece of that puzzle.”

WHAT IT’S FOR

Rao said the startup plans to use the cash from the Series A-1 for sales, marketing and partnerships with providers, as well as to continue to improve the technology. 

Although the documentation tool can be used for specialty care, he said primary and family care providers are a particular focus, especially when it comes to clinician burnout and EHR documentation burden. 

“When you think about the burnout challenge, my heart goes out to them first and foremost, because they are being asked to do more and more every day from a documentation perspective and from a billing perspective,” he said. “And they’re also seeing the most patients. A busy family practice clinician might have a couple thousand patients in their panel.”

MARKET SNAPSHOT

Another AI-backed notetaking assistant for doctors is Suki, which announced a $55 million Series C round of funding in December last year and a $20 million Series B from March 2020. 

Meanwhile, scribe service Robin Healthcare also raised $50 million in Series B financing at the end of last year. 

Nuance Communications, which Microsoft recently acquired for nearly $20 billion, also offers a clinical documentation tool, Dragon Medical One. Last year, Nuance also acquired Saykara, maker of an AI assistant called Kara. 



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