Aug 11, 2022
Shiv Rao, MD

Abridge secures $12.5M of funding to improve physician burnout and help patients stay on top of their health

The most important signals in healthcare are spoken — but that also means they are often missed or forgotten. A few years ago, we started thinking about ways to help change this dynamic by bringing more understanding and follow-through to every medical conversation. We built a solution to help people record, reflect, and follow through on their health conversations. Since then, we’ve also spoken to thousands of clinicians about their healthcare experiences, and the overwhelming majority told us that increasing burdens of documentation are driving them to burnout.

Provider burnout continues to be a serious issue for health systems, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. Studies suggest that more than 50% of providers experience burnout-related symptoms, and health systems are anticipating staffing shortages that will cost $4.6 billion annually. This doesn’t bode well for providers or for patients seeking care. It’s clear that there is a need for better, automated documentation that can ultimately power better care delivery experiences for everyone.

That’s why we created a documentation solution for healthcare enterprises that runs cutting-edge machine learning on top of doctor-patient conversations to structure and summarize information in real-time. This service makes it easier for systems to reduce burnout and improve efficiencies, while also enhancing care delivery. Health systems are already using Abridge to process all kinds of medical conversations, whether it’s ambient audio from in-person conversations, telemedicine conversations, or even chat. Abridge offers:

  • Automated, real-time documentation: Abridge algorithms generate clinically useful and billable documentation from the conversation, accurately and within a minute of the conversation.
  • Structured insights: Algorithms extract medical information and map back to ontologies and codes, making it easy to get immediate, actionable insights at the encounter and population level.
  • Evidence-based notes: All insights are automatically mapped back to the parts of the conversation where they happened, improving coding compliance for billing as well as value based initiatives.

We hear from clinicians who use Abridge that they have peace of mind in knowing they can get their documentation done and eliminate “PJ time” – the time they would otherwise spend doing notes at home because they couldn’t finish them while in clinic. They can focus more on patient care, and feel better about having complete notes that will provide for better continuity of care. This satisfies a number of needs, from providing better population health analytics to improving compliance.

And it’s not just doctors who benefit. When doctors benefit, so do their patients. Ultimately, patients want a better way to stay on top of their health. And Abridge can help them do that, through providing a consumer-friendly application that provides an interactive transcript of the key moments from any medical conversation, helpful definitions of medical terms, and individualized reminders about next steps, like new medication instructions. 

Armed with a proprietary dataset derived from more than 1.5 million medical encounters and more peer-reviewed papers about medical conversation AI than any other entity, we have already helped more than 2,000 clinicians practice at the top of their license and 200,000 patients stay on top of their health. And we expect to see these numbers grow, as health systems look to Abridge to arm clinicians with documentation support and send their patients a version of the Abridge-generated notes that is created with patients’ needs in mind.

Today, we’re officially launching our enterprise solution to combat physician burnout in healthcare and help patients stay on top of their health. Our recent $12.5M in funding – from investors like Wittington Ventures, Whistler Capital, and Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio – will enable us to expand our research and development, further improve automated documentation workflows, grow our team, and help many more clinicians and patients. And Abridge is now making its core machine learning technology available via API, helping care delivery entities seamlessly integrate with their existing telemedicine and call center platforms. We just told our story in VatorNews, and you can check it out here.

Our aspiration is to help clinicians spend more time on the practice of medicine – treating patients with care and ensuring their positive outcomes. And we think that technology can enrich these experiences, enabling doctors and patients to get more from their conversations and improve the quality of care. We’re committed to ensuring that innovation in documentation workflows and continuity of care practices is accessible, scalable, and quickly achievable for enterprise customers looking to provide better care delivery experiences for clinicians and patients alike. We’re deeply thankful to everyone who has supported us thus far, and of course, to the Abridge team who continues to work hard to power better care delivery experiences for everyone. We can’t wait for what’s next.

About the Author

Shiv Rao, MD

CEO, Co-Founder

Shiv Rao, MD is the co-founder and CEO of Abridge, a company focused on bringing context and understanding to every medical conversation. He is also a faculty member and practicing cardiologist at UPMC’s Heart and Vascular Institute.