Hippocratic AI Raises $53 Million Series A at a $500 Million Valuation

Company releases first product: Generative AI-powered staffing marketplace for healthcare and will use funds to accelerate further product development and conduct phase three safety testing for its LLM

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hippocratic AI, the company building the first safety-focused Large Language Model (LLM) for healthcare, today announced the close of a $53 million Series A funding round at a $500 million valuation, bringing total funding to $120 million. Today, the company also released its first product for phase three safety testing: a staffing marketplace for healthcare where health systems, payors, and others can “hire” generative AI agents that complete low-risk, non-diagnostic, patient-facing healthcare tasks to help solve the massive shortage of healthcare nurses, social workers, and nutritionists in the US and worldwide. The new capital will be used to help fund these safety tests and further develop the product.

The round was co-led by Premji Invest and General Catalyst with participation from SV Angel and Memorial Hermann Health System as well as existing investors Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health, Cincinnati Children’s, WellSpan Health, and Universal Health Services (UHS).

The company was founded on the belief that Generative AI holds the potential to improve healthcare access, equity, and outcomes but that it has to be developed and deployed safely and responsibly. The round was significantly oversubscribed, allowing the company to select lead investors who were patient enough to allow the company to prioritize safety over short-term revenue and profits.

“Premji Invest supports the Azim Premji Foundation’s non-profit activities in perpetuity by investing in companies that can create long-term societal value. The Foundation runs deep, on-the-ground work in healthcare and education,” said Sandesh Patnam, Managing Partner at Premji Invest. “Hippocratic AI’s approach towards safe AI helps further the Foundation’s mission. The team has the potential to transform healthcare with an LLM that is safe and effective. We look forward to working with this ambitious and talented team to achieve better outcomes for patients around the globe.”

"Since the founding of Hippocratic AI a year ago, the company trained its foundational model, achieved a key safety threshold, identified novel use cases to solve the healthcare staffing crisis, and established partnerships with 40 health systems, payors, and digital health companies,” said Hemant Taneja, CEO and Managing Director at General Catalyst. “Hippocratic AI has grown rapidly due to sound execution and strategy, while prioritizing safety. The company is a leading standard of radical collaboration at work and will play a critical role in transforming our healthcare system to make it more proactive, affordable, and equitable.”

Today the company begins the next stage of its responsible AI journey by releasing its first product for phase three safety testing. The company has pioneered a clinician-driven safety testing system for LLMs. Phase one testing was conducted by leading physicians and nurses (< 50) to ensure the agent completes all critical checklist items with the patient for a given use case. Phase two testing required testing to be completed by 1000+ licensed US nurses, and 100+ US licensed physicians talking to the AI while acting as a patient. Phase three testing, which begins now, requires the testing to be completed by 5,000 licensed nurses, 500 licensed physicians, and the company’s health system partners.

The product is a novel staffing marketplace where health systems, payors, and others can “hire” auto-pilot generative AI-powered agents to conduct low-risk, non-diagnostic, patient-facing services to help solve the massive healthcare staffing crisis. This marketplace is part of the company’s vision around how generative AI can provide super staffing and healthcare abundance and equity for the first time in history. Initial roles include chronic care management, post-discharge follow-up for specific conditions such as congestive heart failure and kidney disease, as well as wellness and social determinants of health surveys, health risk assessments, and pre-operative outreach. However, these agents won’t be allowed to speak with patients unsupervised until phase three of the safety testing is completed.

The company decided to move to phase three testing because of the promising results of phase one and two testing. In these earlier phases, 1002 US licensed nurses and 130 US licensed physicians were asked to act as patients and speak to the company’s agents in a variety of use cases. After each encounter, they were asked to assess the product on subjective and objective safety measures and compare the product to real nurses and other LLMs such as GPT4 and LLaMA 2 70B Chat. The results of these studies are presented in a paper released today called Polaris: A Safety-focused LLM Constellation Architecture for Healthcare. Some highlights of the paper include:

Subjective measures (measured against human nurses):

 Scores for the AI from
human nurses
Scores for human nurses
from human nurses
Do you feel comfortable confiding in this AI/Nurse?88.93%88.81%
Did the AI/Nurse get to know you as a person?78.43%57.58%
Was the AI/Nurse as effective as an average nurse?85.66%87.34%
Did the AI/Nurse create and take opportunities to educate you about your condition?89.82%80.64%

Specialist support model safety (measured against other LLMs and human nurses)

 Hippocratic AI
LLaMA 2 70B
Open AI GPT-
Human nurses
Identify medication impact on lab values (only MoA)79.61%0.00%74.22%63.40%
Identify condition-specific disallowed OTCs88.73%30.66%55.54%45.92%
Correctly compare lab value to reference range96.43%48.24%77.89%93.74%
Detect toxic OTC dosages81.50%9.11%38.06%57.64%

Full Constellation system safety (measured against human nurses)

  Scores for the
AI from human
nurses and
Scores for
human nurses
from human
AI/Nurse only provided correct medical advice 96.79%81.16%
AI/Nurse provided incorrect medical advice that would result in:

No harm1.83%14.72%
Minor harm1.32%4.12%
Severe harm

These successful benchmarks are the result of Hippocratic AI’s unique three-part approach to safety, comprised of: (1) a 70B-100B primary model trained using evidence based content; (2) a novel constellation architecture with multiple models totaling over one trillion parameters, in which the primary LLM is supervised by multiple specialist support models to improve medical accuracy and substantially reduce hallucinations (more on this architecture in Hippocratic’s paper); (3) built-in guardrails that bring in a human supervisor when necessary.

In addition, product development is guided by several Hippocratic AI oversight groups, including a safety governance council, a Physician Advisory Council, and a Nurse Advisory Council, which bring together esteemed physicians and registered nurses hailing from leading health systems and digital health companies such as Cleveland Clinic, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Teladoc Health, WebMD, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Illinois Health System, and more.

For phase three testing, Hippocratic AI will ask its 40+ partners to thoroughly test the safety of this novel Generative AI-based product. These partners include HonorHealth, Cincinnati Children’s, OhioHealth, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Universal Health Services, ELNA, SonderMind, Vital Software, Capsule, Evernow, HarmonyCares, Guidehealth, University of Vermont Health Network, Memorial Hermann Health System, Fraser Health, Side Health and many more. In addition to these partners, the company will significantly expand testing with more licensed nurses and physicians.

“When we started the company, we prioritized safety as our top value. This is why we named the company after the physician’s Hippocratic Oath and made the tagline ‘Do no harm,’” said Munjal Shah, co-founder and CEO of Hippocratic AI. “This has been our guiding principle since the company’s founding. Our focus on safety testing our product in multiple phases and transparent publication of the results for everyone to see is the next down payment in this safety-first journey. Our selection of partners who align with our values and have the patience to let us pursue safety over revenue and profits further underscores our commitment to these values.”

To learn more about Hippocratic AI and the company’s first products, visit www.hippocraticai.com.

About Hippocratic AI
Hippocratic AI’s mission is to develop the first safest focused Large Language Model (LLM) for healthcare. The company believes that a safe LLM can dramatically improve healthcare accessibility and health outcomes in the world by bringing deep healthcare expertise to every human. No other technology has the potential to have this level of global impact on health. The company was co-founded by CEO Munjal Shah, alongside a group of physicians, hospital administrators, healthcare professionals, and artificial intelligence researchers from El Camino Health, Johns Hopkins, Washington University in St. Louis, Stanford, Google, and Nvidia. Hippocratic AI has received a total of $120M in funding and is backed by leading investors, including General Catalyst, Andreessen Horowitz, Premji Invest, and SV Angel. For more information on Hippocratic AI: www.HippocraticAI.com.

About General Catalyst
General Catalyst is a venture capital firm that invests in powerful, positive change that endures — for our entrepreneurs, our investors, our people, and society. We support founders with a long-term view who challenge the status quo, partnering with them from seed to growth stage and beyond to build companies that withstand the test of time. With offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York City, London, Berlin, and Boston, the firm has helped support the growth of businesses such as: Airbnb, Deliveroo, Guild, Gusto, Hubspot, Illumio, Lemonade, Livongo, Oscar, Samsara, Snap, Stripe, and Warby Parker. For more: www.generalcatalyst.com.

About Premji Invest
Premji Invest’s evergreen capital structure allows us to be long-term partners from inception to IPO and beyond. Our investment strategy spans the entire lifecycle of a company, starting from Series A funding rounds all the way to the pre-IPO stage in the private market. Additionally, we extend our focus into the public markets, employing a long-term, fundamental approach to investing. Our multi-stage approach allows us to glean insights from successful ‘at scale’ companies, providing long-term strategic guidance to emerging enterprises. We hope to partner with courageous founders, being involved in all aspects of company building including talent acquisition, business development, investor syndicate building, and access to downstream capital. Our previous investments include Anaplan, Coupa, Zuora, Apttus, Looker, Servicemax, Ikigai Labs, Holistic AI, Devoted Health, Included Health, and Firefly. For more: www.premjiinvest.com

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