Hippocratic AI, a generative artificial intelligence company focused on healthcare, said Monday it has raised $15 million in funding and added 10 healthcare partners.
Launched by venture capital companies General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz in May, Hippocratic AI is setting out to build a large language generative AI model for healthcare across various sectors, said co-founder and CEO Munjal Shah.
Its initial partners include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Scottsdale, Arizona-based health system HonorHealth, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based health system Universal Health Services, Montreal, Canada-based primary and specialty care company ELNA Medical Group, Denver-based virtual mental health company SonderMind, New York-based virtual pharmacy Capsule and Atlanta-based digital health company Vital Software. Hippocratic AI didn't name three other partners.
“What we wanted to do was cover all the bases,” Shah said. “I don't see one person that's really gone deep into the healthcare large language model and built it from scratch this way.”
Hippocratic’s partners will help the company address safety and data governance issues while dedicating internal resources to evaluate large language models and test specific use cases. Shah said Hippocratic is working to develop three of four specific use cases for partners to implement. The company is initially focused on using this model for non-diagnostic, patient-facing applications.
Shah said the generative AI model the company develops will be the same for each partner despite operating in different healthcare sectors. He declined to provide a specific timeframe for when these projects would be completed.
“It’s not a short road from here to this working live and we don’t need it to be,” Shah said. “I have $65 million. I'm not in a big rush.”
Four partners, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Scottsdale, Arizona-based health system HonorHealth, also participated in the company’s $15 million funding round. Hippocratic AI previously announced a $50 million seed funding round in May from General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz.
Cincinnati Children’s and HonorHealth declined to share specific investment amounts. Hippocratic declined to share its other two investors from this round.
The announcement underscores the rising interest in generative AI. Few startups are able to secure a series of partnerships and investment from established venture capital firms and health systems without a clear go-to-market strategy. Dr. Steve Davis, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, said the nascency of generative AI in healthcare, particularly for pediatric care, worked in Hippocratic AI’s favor.
“Too many programs and things are developed only using adult data or adult models,” Davis said. “We think that children ought to be represented in initiatives like this.”
Universal Health Services CEO Marc Miller cited General Catalyst’s involvement as a factor in their decision to partner with the company. The health system partnered with General Catalyst in November and joined the venture capital company's digital health ecosystem with 14 other organizations.
"We have already had a partnership with General Catalyst for many years," Miller said. "Knowing their track record, knowing that this is the company that they're backing and knowing the amount of diligence that they did in this instance, we thought this was the best opportunity for us."
HonorHealth Chief Innovation Officer Kiran Avancha said the system is not making a major bet on generative AI in terms of overall resources and manpower. “We want to have a say in how these models are being built,” he said. “Our commitment has been very nominal at this point in time.”
The system hopes to come up with a project with specific use cases and measurable outcomes in the next six to eight months, he said.
Hippocratic is among numerous technology companies investing in healthcare AI. In April, Microsoft announced that OpenAI's GPT-4 model would come to Epic’s electronic health record. The initial use cases will focus on patient communication and data visualization. The tech giant’s subsidiary Nuance Communications, a clinical documentation software company, is separately integrating GPT-4 capabilities into the EHR. In this case, it will be used to summarize and enter conversations between clinicians and patients directly into the EHR.