Hippocratic AI recently launched out of stealth to announce the industry’s first safety-focused Large Language Model (LLM) designed specifically for healthcare and a $50 million seed round co-led by General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz.
Large language models (LLMs) and Foundation Models (FMs) such as ChatGPT and GPT-4 have surprised the world with their abilities. And while research has shown that these AI models can pass the USMLE (US Medical Licensing Exam), no company has built a commercial model specifically tuned for healthcare applications. What Hippocratic AI is doing is that it is building the first LLM for Healthcare with an initial focus on non-diagnostic and patient-facing applications. This will enable the company to ensure patient safety while improving healthcare access and outcomes. Hippocratic AI was founded by a group of physicians, hospital administrators, Medicare professionals, and AI researchers from El Camino Health, Johns Hopkins, Washington University in St. Louis, Stanford, UPenn, Google, and Nvidia. In order to build a safer large language model the company has focused on 3 main things: certification, RLHF via healthcare professionals, and bedside manner.
RLHF with Healthcare professionals
Hippocratic AI decided that the best people to determine LLM readiness for deployment in the healthcare system are the experts who serve in that role in today’s system. And in LLMs, there is a technique to mold the AI using human feedback: Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF). Plus many believe this technique is what led to the remarkable performance of ChatGPT compared to that of prior versions of OpenAI’s language models. In building Hippocratic AI, the company has engaged healthcare professionals to help guide and train the LLM by rating its responses.
To date there are no benchmarks for evaluating the bedside manner of a language model when interacting with patients. And Hippocratic AI will be releasing the first of many bedside manner benchmarks for the entire community to use.
“The healthcare industry needs its own AI platform, one that is focused on empowering the workforce, reducing burnout, and improving patient safety and experiences with the healthcare system. We joined forces with the Hippocratic AI team, our health assurance ecosystem, and the a16z team to build this platform. Our goal is to fundamentally increase the supply and scalability of healthcare professionals. This is the key to achieving the health assurance vision: a more proactive, more affordable, and equitable system of care for all.”
— Hemant Taneja, CEO and Managing Director at General Catalyst.
“After working with Munjal and team for years in his prior company, we know that his lived experience as a healthcare and tech operator gives him an edge in understanding what it takes to bring high-ROI products to market – especially at a time when existing industry players are in such dire need of better operating leverage and financial sustainability. We believe Hippocratic AI’s cross-disciplinary, safety-first approach is what the healthcare industry needs to be able to maintain trust in the power of responsible deployment of generative AI solutions.”
— Julie Yoo, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
“RLHF with healthcare professionals isn’t just a feature but is really our commitment to partner deeply with the industry. We aren’t just saying these professions will help us evaluate our system. We are saying we won’t launch each unique role for the LLM unless the professionals who do that exact task today agree the system is ready and safe.”
— Munjal Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Hippocratic AI
“In healthcare settings, it isn’t just important to answer the patient accurately. It is equally important that it is done with great bedside manner. Many studies have shown that bedside manner impacts emotional well-being and quality of outcomes. This isn’t just true for doctors but also true for everyone interacting with patients: billing agents, schedulers, and more.”
— Meenesh Bhimani MD, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Hippocratic AI
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