Hippocratic AI gets $50 million seed funding
Hippocratic AI, a startup focused on developing a safety-first large language model (LLM) for healthcare, has launched with a $50 million seed round co-led by General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz.
Founded by a group of physicians, Medicare professionals, artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, and hospital administrators, Hippocratic AI is striving to build a reliable patient-facing AI tool that will help close the workforce shortage crisis facing healthcare today.
“Generative AI has captured the imagination of the world and it has captured the zeitgeist and when you think about its application to healthcare you realize there are three million missing healthcare workers in this country. We do not have enough people after the pandemic. So many burned out, and there is really no way to close that gap except using technology and generative AI to do that,” Hippocratic AI CEO and Founder Munjal Shah told Bloomberg News.
Unlike other GPT models that have recently emerged in healthcare, Hippocratic AI will not diagnose, at least, not yet.
“We actually don’t think generative AI is ready to do diagnostics. We think diagnoses need to come much later when these models are safe,” says Shah. Instead, Hippocratic AI can support healthcare workforce shortages by filling in the gaps of the entire healthcare ecosystem and lower costs.
“Healthcare is way bigger than just the doctor,“ Shah continues. “You have registered dieticians, you have genetic counselors, you have many other roles that are supporting roles and supporting actors that are in the healthcare system that really could benefit from generative AI.”
Their website claims, “With generative AI the incremental cost of healthcare access and interventions is trending to zero.” The site also compares the hourly pay of a nurse ($90), a dietician ($33), a healthcare administrator ($19), to a Hippocratic AI agent ($1).
When asked how they will monetize, Shah said they are still figuring it out. As a commercial model, it’s possible we will see healthcare systems and hospitals adopt Hippocratic AI to fill workforce shortages and reduce costs.
Named after the oath doctors take, Hippocratic AI has also taken one of the oath’s primary principles as its slogan: “Do not harm.”
One of the ways they are refining their model and promoting patient-safety is by passing and outperforming other GPT models in medical licensing exams. So far, the model has passed 114 exams including certifications for dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and gynecology.
The company has recruited healthcare professionals to give feedback that will help guide and train the LLM, a process they are calling Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF).
“RLHF with healthcare professionals isn’t just a feature but is really our commitment to partner deeply with the industry,” said Shah.
“We aren’t just saying these professions will help us evaluate our system. We are saying we won’t launch each unique role for the LLM unless the professionals who do that exact task today agree the system is ready and safe.”
Overall, Hippocratic AI wants to create what they are calling artificial Health General Intelligence (HGI).
“The company believes that safe HGI can dramatically improve healthcare accessibility and health outcomes in the world by bringing deep healthcare expertise to every human. No other technology has the potential to have this level of global impact on health,” the press release states.