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What Abridge’s new $12.5M Series A1 raise means for the Pittsburgh AI company

Dr. Shivdev Rao, the company's CEO and cofounder, hopes Abridge can become the healthtech equivalent of homegrown success Duolingo.

Dr. Shivdev Rao. (Courtesy photo)

From students to reporters, plenty of professionals have fallen out of love with traditional transcription and note taking. To save healthcare pros some amount time and burnout in the long run, Abridge, a downtown Pittsburgh-based healthtech company, offers an app that records and condenses conversations between patients and doctors as a solution.

Now, having raised $12.5 million in Series A1 funding, cofounder and CEO Dr. Shivdev Rao told Technical.ly that the company will be able to hire new employees and get the word about the app out to those who need it.

As a medical doctor himself, Rao explained that an app like Abridge was something he wished he’d had available to him at many points during his career.

“I became a cardiologist to help my patients improve their health, but the reality was that I was spending more time on my notes than with my patients,” the CEO said.

The funding round was led by Wittington Ventures and included participation from the company’s existing investors Union Square Ventures, Pillar Venture Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and UPMC Enterprises, as well as new investors Yoshua Bengio and Whistler Capital.

Abridge sought out the additional funding because its leadership believed their technology can have a large reach in the healthcare market, Rao said, but in order to expand its reach, more funding was needed. While the 25-person company is still in its early stages, a part of the plan for growth includes bringing on more engineers for machine learning roles and research and development roles. And since hospitals and healthcare are such an intrinsic part of Pittsburgh with the likes of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, Rao said the city provided an excellent launchpad for what the team hope to accomplish.

(Courtesy image)

The company cites statistics stating that half of healthcare professionals report feeling burned out as reasoning that there’s a need for the app in the market. Within the app, users would be able to have automated documentation of their conversations between patients and later provide them with a rundown of the most important details needed to provide them with care.

“We’re basically building a solution that we think can revolutionize the healthcare experience for all of us and it’s for all of us as patients, but also for all the healthcare professionals out there,” Rao said. “We’ve built all this deep technology that is now ready for primetime and so we’re really excited at this moment with this fundraising announcement and this launch, to really get after that goal of being a part of helping everyone better understand and follow through on their health.”

Currently, the artificial intelligence-driven app has been used by roughly 2,000 clinicians and has a host of upcoming partnerships and pilot programs on the horizon, but Rao hopes that Abridge can become the healthcare equivalent of homegrown tech success Duolingo.

“The technology that we’ve built, the solution, we think can really scale to a huge challenge in the market out there,” Rao said. “We think that it can be a part of all of the conversations that are happening in relation to healthcare. So that’s a huge market opportunity and it requires venture capital in order to get after it.”

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Abridge

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