Abridge, which uses machine learning to help people understand the details of their care and follow through on their doctors’ advice, has raised $15 million in funding. Union Square Ventures and UPMC led the round.
PITTSBURGH, Penn. — Oct. 6, 2020 — Abridge, the new service helping more people understand the details of their medical care and follow through on doctors’ advice, today announces its official launch. After helping 50,000 people during its pre-launch period, Abridge raised $15M across a Seed and recent Series A, led by Union Square Ventures and healthcare partner UPMC, to continue its effort to bring more compassion and confidence to every step of a person’s healthcare journey.
Developed for individuals seeking care from their doctors, as well as for loved ones who are part of a care team, Abridge gives patients better clarity around their health for more peace of mind. Prior to launching, Abridge surveyed thousands of consumers and found that most (59 percent) said they forgot more than 40 percent of the conversations they had with doctors, specifically the details and important instructions, like what they should do next. Abridge directly addresses this pain point by creating better connections and understanding between people and their doctors.
“It’s no secret that our healthcare system has cracks in it, and while I love my work as a cardiologist, I could only help so many people as a practicing physician. Technology makes it possible to affect the whole system and all the people and doctors impacted,” said Dr. Shiv Rao, co-founder and CEO of Abridge. “We built Abridge because we recognized that everyone needs an easy way to remember and understand the details of their care. We can now help so many more people feel comfortable and confident at their medical appointments, and in turn, live healthier lives.”
How It Works
Powered by machine learning, Abridge provides users with a transcript of the medical parts of the conversations they have with their doctors, highlighting important definitions (the technology has more than 400,000 terms indexed) and takeaways, like next steps or medication instructions. The app can be used for any type of medical appointment, from routine annual exams to urgent care appointments to specialist conversations.
To use the app once it’s downloaded, patients can follow these simple steps:
Record a Health Conversation: During a doctor’s appointment, open the Abridge app and simply hit the record button.
Decode Medical Jargon: The recording is securely uploaded to a HIPAA-compliant server, and Abridge’s machine learning algorithms create a selective transcript of the medical parts of the conversation. People can use these moments as audio bookmarks that make it easy to skip to the parts that they may want to replay. They can also get definitions to medical terms from trusted sources like the Mayo Clinic.
Identify Key Takeaways from the Visit: Abridge identifies and highlights next steps in care, like prescription instructions or follow-up appointments, to help patients stay on top of their health and follow through on their doctor’s advice.
A Team Embedded in Machine Learning
Abridge’s machine-learning foundation is attributed to the deep expertise from a team of Abridge staff led by CTO and Co-founder, Sandeep Konam, Carnegie Mellon University professors, and their respective labs. They’ve worked to bring context and meaning to people’s health through machine learning that deciphers information-dense medical conversations.
Unlike other voice detection services, Abridge’s technology is solving for a more natural setting, grabbing audio signals from a regular conversation, with varying degrees of microphone quality. Abridge’s ability to provide valuable context to medical-jargon-filled conversations–made even more complicated by interruptions, broken utterances, and everything else that happens when people are talking–is a powerful driver for understanding.
“We’re thrilled to support Abridge’s mission to help people better understand and follow through on their health,” said Andy Weissman from Union Square Ventures. “As part of our investment thesis, we back trusted brands like Abridge to broaden access to wellbeing. We believe Abridge can create new trusted relationships between people and their doctors.”
In addition to Union Square Ventures and UPMC, Abridge’s $15 million fundraising to-date includes funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Pillar, KdT Ventures, and an angel syndicate comprised of Esther Dyson, Aneesh Chopra, and Zen Chu. The new capital will be used to grow the company’s world-class team and continue improving the machine-learning technology and product.
Abridge is available now for iPhone and Android via the App Store and Google Play Store.
Abridge helps people stay on top of their health. Whether an appointment takes place in-person or at home via telemedicine, Abridge records the conversation and creates an interactive transcript highlighting the key medical points. By keeping patients, their families, and clinicians on the same page, Abridge brings more understanding and follow-through to every conversation. Visit http://www.abridge.com and @AbridgeHQ to get the latest information.