Abridge Closes $15 Million To Help You Stay On Top Of Your Health

By Noah Long ● October 8, 2020
  • Abridge announced it has raised $15 million across a seed round and recent Series A led by Union Square Ventures and healthcare partner UPMC

Abridge — a new service that helps more people understand the details of their medical care and follow through on doctors’ advice — has announced its official launch. And after helping 50,000 people during its pre-launch period, Abridge raised $15 million across a seed round 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.

Built 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. And before launching, Abridge surveyed thousands of consumers and found that most (59%) said they forgot more than 40% of the conversations they had with doctors, specifically the details and important instructions like what they should do next. Abridge addresses this pain point by creating better connections and understanding between people and their doctors.

With 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. And 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 after it is downloaded, patients can follow these simple steps: 1.) Record a Health Conversation 2.) 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. And they can also get definitions to medical terms from trusted sources like the Mayo Clinic). 3.) Identify Key Takeaways from the Visit (Abridge identifies and highlights next steps in care such as prescription instructions or follow-up appointments to help patients stay on top of their health and follow through on their doctor’s advice).

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. And they have 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. And 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.

Along with Union Square Ventures and UPMC, Abridge’s total $15 million in funding to-date includes investments from Bessemer Venture Partners, Pillar, KdT Ventures, and an angel syndicate comprised of Esther Dyson, Aneesh Chopra, and Zen Chu. And the new capital will be used to grow the company’s world-class team and continue improving the machine-learning technology and product.

KEY QUOTES:

“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. 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.”

— Dr. Shiv Rao, co-founder and CEO of Abridge

“We’re thrilled to support Abridge’s mission to help people better understand and follow through on their health. 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.”

— Andy Weissman from Union Square Ventures