- Operations management startup Qventus said this week it completed a $30 million Series B funding round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
- The Mountain View, California company said it will use the money to expand its artificial intelligence-based platform aimed at streamlining hospital workflows.
- With this latest funding round, Qventus has raised a total of $43 million. Included in round were NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital as well as existing investors Mayfield Fund and Norwest Venture Partners. Over the past three years, the software has facilitated more than 3.8 million patient encounters and been deployed at health systems including NYP, Emory Healthcare in Atlanta and Wisconsin-based Mercy Health.
Machine learning and automation have the potential to increase workflow efficiency and allow clinicians to spend more time with their patients, rather than hunched over computer screens. Potential uses include applying speech-to-text and real-time translation algorithms over Skype to facilitate translation services in a virtual care setting. AI tools can also help with data review.
Qventus’ AI-based tool is designed to help speed up workflows in a number of hospital areas, including the emergency department, perioperative areas, patient safety, inpatient, outpatient and pharmacy.
A new wave of AI tools seek to assist on operational workflows and rote administrative tasks rather than tackling clinical cases.
Earlier this month, digital health startup Suki announced it had reeled in $20 million to advance an AI-enabled voice assistant for physicians. Researchers at Google,
One of Suki's founders, a Google alum, recently said speech recognition technology can be practical for transcribing medical conversations.
These companies seek to add value by helping caregivers practice at the top of their license as well as improve efficiency.
"As hospitals transition to a new model of value-based care, they are under tremendous pressure to provide services to their communities at sustainable margins," Stephen Kraus, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and incoming member of Qventus’ board, wrote on a blog post. "Given the huge complexities and inefficiencies in our healthcare system, the magnitude of this shift cannot be underestimated."
“Machine learning itself is not the important thing. It’s the operationalization of machine learning,” Mudit Garg, founder and CEO of Qventus, recently told Healthcare Dive in an interview.
AI fulfills the basic criteria of value for administrative or operational use cases, Garg said. It is achievable, approachable, the data are available and the tasks are repetitive versus one-off decision-making.
“No matter what happens from a regulations standpoint, whether it’s fee-for-service, fee-for-value, Affordable Care Act or not, those are the use cases that drive efficiency and value today,” Garg said.
Jeff Byers contributed to this article.