To say hospitals are overloaded right now is an understatement.
Doctors and nurses are overwhelmed addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, not just in treating those patients but also in helping prevent it from spreading or trying to avoid getting it themselves.
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One Columbus, Ohio-based startup that is out to help automate administrative processes so hospital employees can focus more on taking care of patients has just raised $51 million.
General Catalyst led the round for Olive, which says it’s creating “the AI workforce for health care.” Drive Capital, Oak HC/FT and Ascension Ventures also participated in the financing. Since its 2012 inception, Olive (previously called CrossChx) has now raised a total of $123.8 million, according to Crunchbase data.
The company was initially founded with the goal of “giving healthcare the internet.” By 2017, it had developed Olive, an AI workforce of interconnected bots that work to automate health care’s most redundant, data-heavy tasks. Those tasks include prior authorizations, insurance verifications and account updates. The premise behind Olive is that the bots do the busy work so health care employees can focus more on actual patient care and not get as burnt out.
Olive’s offering was developed exclusively for health care and is delivered as a AI-as-a-Service model, bundling artificial intelligence technologies–robotic process automation (RPA), computer vision (CV), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) capabilities–with scoping, implementation, support and optimization services, according to CEO and co-founder Sean Lane.
Olive learns collectively, he said. “This means whether Olive is proactively identifying and managing through third-party updates or isolating the root causes of denials, her growing wisdom allows providers to operate at the industry best, not just their personal best,” Lane told Crunchbase News.
Even prior to the COVID-19-related pandemic, Olive was already seeing impressive growth. Lane said the company quadrupled its topline growth from 2017 to 2018 and tripled it from 2018 to 2019. It has over 200 employees, double its headcount from the same time last year.
The company plans to use its new capital to work with a “heavy investment towards engineering.”
“The market has responded very favorably to our AlphaSite offering, an onsite command center for accelerating the enterprise-wide deployment of an AI workforce,” Lane told Crunchbase News. The funding will help Olive accelerate the proliferation of its model to health systems.
Currently, Olive is partnered with more than 40 health care organizations made up of more than 500 hospitals in over 41 states across the U.S. Customers include Centura Health and Yale New Haven Health.
“As a recent health system CEO, I appreciate the duress our hospitals are under as they focus on delivering the best patient care possible under challenging circumstances all while needing to keep the lights on,” Paulus said in a written statement. “Olive’s reliable automation of essential back-office processes saves time, reduces errors and allows staff to focus on higher-order work.”
Last September, I wrote about another startup using machine learning in a health care setting. Mednition, which has developed a machine learning-powered decision support solution for emergency nurses, had just raised $10 million in a Series A round of funding.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
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