GYANT–pronounced ‘giant’–is building a virtual assistant to improve interaction between patients and providers.
The “Siri for healthcare” startup announced that it has raised a $13.6 milllion Series A led by Wing Venture Capital.
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The funding took place without ever meeting its new lead investor, Wing Venture Capital, in person. Intermountain Ventures joined the round–Intermountain Healthcare is a customer– along with existing investors Alpana Ventures, Grazia Equity, Techstars Ventures and Plug and Play Ventures.
How it works
One of GYANT’s main selling points is its ability to lower administrative costs. It can be integrated into a health care provider website much like chat services on e-commerce sites. The service addresses questions that would typically hit a front desk staff member, and helps new customers looking for next steps.
The second phase integration GYANT offers is an authenticated experience tied to electronic health records to build more meaningful interactions directly from care providers based on patient health history. And the service can integrate with existing contact centers to allow for a live takeover by patient support.
GYANT’s customers are health systems, typically large nationwide clients with hundreds of hospitals. Many have billions in patient revenue. GYANT charges a SaaS fee with an annual license and then a service fee with contracts–typically for three years. There can be an upfront component for the initial deployment. Fees depend less on volume, but more on the range of use cases and integration provided.
Increased need and integrated teams
Since the pandemic hit, health care systems have experienced increased call volumes with many worried people at home, calling and trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do.
“I think it really shook our customers into action,” said CEO and co-founder Stefan Behrens, a serial entrepreneur in gaming and e-commerce, in an interview with Crunchbase News.
“They had an immediate urgent need that something needed to be done, because the old ways weren’t working anymore. Call lines were overrun, with wait times of two hours or longer before somebody would pick up the phone. Twenty-four-plus hours to connect to a provider on telemedicine. Something had to give.”
GYANT had five customers at the beginning of the year, pre-COVID-19, and now has 24 customers deployed.
Behrens said that for GYANT customers, call volumes have gone down by as much as 50 percent. And GYANT is able to respond to more than 85 percent of the questions and topics from patients across many customers.
Prior to COVID, virtual appointments and interactions probably accounted for single-digit percentages. Now, that is north of 80 percent for many of GYANT’s customers.
“That is a massive shift in workflows,” said Behrens. “Post COVID, virtual interactions will come down, but we’re not going back to 5 or 6 percent. We’re going back to maybe 30 or 40 percent.”
A venture like GYANT requires a multifaceted team, which includes UX and UI designers who understand consumers and team members who know medical protocols and how to deploy into clinical workflows. It also includes engineers who can put it all together, the data scientists who build an artificial intelligence model to actually enable the system, natural language processing, and then later diagnostic and triage decision-making.
Said Behrens, “Bringing all these different backgrounds together in one team creates a product that’s been the most rewarding, but also probably one of the more challenging aspects of this venture.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman