Augmedix announces $19 million in Series B funding
On Thursday, Augmedix announced it has received $19 million in Series B funding. The new funding includes investments from McKesson Ventures, DCM ventures, Redmile Group, Wanxiang Healthcare Investments, and others.
Augmedix turns clinician-patient conversations into medical documentation in real time. They do this by providing clinicians with hardware, such as Google Glass or smartphones, to stream a clinic visit to remote specialists. These specialists then turn these conversations into medical documentation.
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Ian Shakil, Founder and Chairman of Augmedix, says the new funding will be used, in part, to strategically scale Augmedix across health systems and private clinics across the country. Currently, Augmedix has partnerships with 15 national health systems including Sutter Health, Dignity Health, ChristianaCare, and US Oncology.
“We want Augmedix to be an iconic household name in the world of health care,” says Shakil. “I’ll often say we want to be the “veritable stethoscope” of this century — sort of a tool and an aid that a doctor can’t imagine practicing their day without.”
Shakil says the funding will also be used to support projects — like note automation and artificial intelligence — to enhance Augmedix’s technology.
“Augmedix is not a pure software solution; we use human experts on the back-end that do a lot of the heavy-lifting that makes this service possible,” says Shakil. “Pure AI or pure software without “humans in the loop” are in no way able to perform a service like this, while allowing a natural conversation between multiple people to take place, and while allowing for an appropriate amount of accuracy.”
To assist these “humans in the loop,” the Augmedix team will work on advancing their technology to provide more tech assistance for the individuals creating the medical documentation.
“Our strategy is to little by little, tech-enable our experts, so that their job becomes easier. So, in the cockpit that these experts work in, we’re developing and have developed tools that, kind of, make attempts at the note. And then the experts will then modify those attempts and QA them,” explains Shakil.
One of Augmedix’s primary goals is to cut down on the amount of time a clinician spends on documenting patient visits, and allow them to focus more on patient interactions. Their research shows that their technology saves a typical doctor 2+ hours per day.
Shakil says they’re also measuring physician burnout.
“[Physician burnout] is very much an epidemic. Doctors are becoming entrepreneurs, or journalists, or anything other than being a doctor — it’s just a big problem,” says Shakil. “We’ve sporadically done surveys within some of our customers and we’ve shown time and again that we dramatically improve doctor satisfaction scores and reduced burnout scores. There’s not a unified metric that I can tell you other than to say we heavily move the needle everywhere it’s measured.”
Shakil says the $19 million in new funding is a reflection of the confidence of their investors and their ability to garner market support.