Building with Abridge – Furthering the Adoption of AI to Innovate in Healthcare

By automatically capturing clinical interactions, Abridge’s platform improves quality of care for both providers and patients

As recently as 15 years ago, the vast majority of US physicians recorded their clinical notes using pen and paper. Prior to the HITECH Act of 2009, less than 10 percent of US hospitals had digitized their patient health records. Fast forward to today, and many of the same physicians are now leading the charge to adopt the latest AI-enabled technologies. Arguably, the solution in greatest demand is the ability to automate the capture of clinical documentation.

By leveraging advances in generative AI, large language models (LLMs), natural language processing, and cloud computing, AI-enabled platforms can automatically document verbal interactions between healthcare providers and patients, eliminating the time-consuming task of entering patient information into electronic health records (EHRs). This will reduce the administrative burden on healthcare providers by an order of magnitude. With clinician burnout at an all-time high, health system executives are more than ready to adopt such a solution.

As investors across both healthcare and enterprise technology, we are excited by the possibilities enabled by ambient clinical documentation. Patient-clinician interactions drive many of the most important clinical and administrative tasks across the entire healthcare value chain. Lightspeed Advisor and long-time Chairman and CEO of Nuance, Paul Ricci, shares his expertise on this topic and the key requirements to effective clinical documentation here.

We believe we have found a team that can provide a responsible, effective, and deep solution in this category. Abridge has the vision, the track record of execution, and the right platform to relieve healthcare providers of the burden of clinical documentation, leading to better patient outcomes. We are excited to join the journey as the lead investor in Abridge’s $150M Series C, and believe they will have a profound impact on both patients and he providers who serve them.

A team with deep cross-discipline expertise

Abridge brings expertise in both healthcare, science and AI to this problem. CEO and co-founder, Dr. Shiv Rao, is a practicing cardiologist; he understands the pain points clinicians endure, as well as how to navigate the complex decision-making process inherent to enterprise-level healthcare systems. As CTO, Associate Professor Zachary Lipton has deep domain expertise in both academics (Carnegie Mellon) and applied AI (Amazon Web Services). He has also assumed a leadership role in the national conversation on AI and regulation in healthcare.

Over the last few months, Lightspeed has gotten to know Shiv, Zack, and other members of Abridge’s core leadership team very well. As a multidisciplinary team, ourselves, we appreciate Abridge’s dual healthcare and AI-native approach to technology and solution development. Abridge’s team has both the experience and the expertise to execute on the company’s vision, and solve key pain points facing healthcare professionals today.

Abridge’s vision: Data-driven healthcare 

Beyond high-value interactions between clinicians and patients, Abridge’s approach points to a much loftier goal: unlocking completely novel data.

By capturing all doctor-patient conversations, Abridge can vastly increase the volume and quality of data that health care systems yearn for but until now couldn’t effectively obtain.  Combining first-order data (patient interactions) with previously uncaptured second order data (physician engagement) unlocks the potential for new methods of diagnosis and treatment.

The data network effects this catalyzes can lead to superior products and offer huge scaling advantages, making Abridge increasingly more impactful for its customers. We view this as Abridge’s underlying superpower; starting with the AI engagement layer for the patient-clinician interaction and leading to AI-powered insights for the enterprise and the broader healthcare value chain. Importantly, it complements some of the existing EMR workflows that exist today.

Strong tactical and strategic execution 

Supporting Abridge’s vision and team is its well-thought-out approach to tactical and strategic execution. On a tactical level, Abridge has built a market leading product, incorporating key functionality – including a combination of note auditability, support for multiple medical specialities, and multilingual capabilities – not seen in the market.

Besides the product and the high NPS reviews from its customers, Abridge’s critical strategic partnerships help to set it apart. Abridge already partners with some of the largest health systems in the country. Their thought leadership and early adopter experience is being closely watched by early and late adopters in the market. Furthermore, Abridge has built a unique relationship with Epic that avoids common integration challenges, providing Epic’s customers a reliable and long-term partner alongside their existing infrastructure.

The problems Abridge is tackling are not trivial. Solutions will require deep collaboration from all stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem – most importantly, patients and their providers. But we share a deep conviction that Abridge’s multi-disciplinary team, expansive vision, and collaborative execution will help steward healthcare into the AI-empowered future.

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