AI for Healthcare: Hippocratic

Soham Sharma
Soham Sharma

Hippocratic AI, a healthcare-focused startup, has secured an impressive $50 million in seed financing to develop a text-generating model specifically designed for healthcare applications. The company aims to create a safe and efficient artificial health general intelligence, revolutionizing healthcare accessibility and improving health outcomes.

Founded by a team of physicians, hospital administrators, Medicare professionals, and AI researchers from esteemed organizations, including Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Google, and Nvidia, Hippocratic has built the first safety-focused large language model (LLM) designed for healthcare. Their technology is consumer-facing and focuses on practical use cases like explaining benefits and billing, providing dietary advice, answering pre-op questions, and delivering test results.

Hippocratic's AI has outperformed leading language models, including GPT-4, on more than 100 healthcare certifications. By certifying the model with healthcare professionals and partnering closely with the industry, Hippocratic ensures that data retention and privacy policies align with healthcare norms. The model also excels in "detecting tone" and "communicating empathy," incorporating the elusive "human touch" that is crucial in healthcare interactions.

To evaluate the model's effectiveness, Hippocratic designed a benchmark test focusing on qualities like empathy and personal interest in patients' lives. The model scored the highest across all categories, surpassing other models in demonstrating humanism. While it aims to enhance healthcare services, there are concerns about completely replacing healthcare workers. Hippocratic argues that their models are trained under medical professionals' supervision and are highly capable, filling vacancies more efficiently.

In an interview, co-founder and CEO Munjal Shah stated that "Hippocratic has developed the first safety-focused large language model (LLM) designed specifically for healthcare." The goal of the company is to create the safest general artificial intelligence for healthcare in order to significantly enhance access to care and health outcomes.

Shah highlighted that Hippocratic's primary focus is not on diagnosing medical conditions. Instead, the consumer-facing technology is designed to address various use cases, including clarifying benefits and billing, offering dietary guidance and medication reminders, responding to pre-operative inquiries, assisting with patient onboarding, and conveying "negative" test results that indicate no abnormalities or concerns.

However, healthcare practitioners may have reservations due to lower scores on some certifications. The company acknowledges the importance of addressing bias, as biased medical records can perpetuate discrimination. Transparency is crucial, and Hippocratic emphasizes the model's fallibility.

While specific details about partners and training data are undisclosed, Hippocratic prioritizes safety, fairness, and transparency. The $50 million seed funding will be invested in talent acquisition, computational resources, data management, and partnerships. Feedback from medical experts is sought in developing specialized tasks, ensuring a fair and unbiased AI application that benefits society.

As the field of AI in healthcare evolves, Hippocratic faces competition from other players. The timely development of their model, balancing high standards and competition, is crucial.

In conclusion, Hippocratic AI's $50 million seed financing marks a significant milestone in their mission to develop a text-generating model tailored to healthcare. With a focus on safety, empathy, and practical applications, the company aims to enhance healthcare accessibility and improve health outcomes. While challenges such as replacing healthcare workers and addressing bias exist, Hippocratic emphasizes transparency and the need for extensive feedback from medical experts. The funding will be used to invest in talent, resources, and partnerships, ensuring the development of a fair and effective AI application in healthcare. As competition in the field grows, Hippocratic aims to stay at the forefront of advancements, driving positive change in the healthcare industry.


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