Startups, Artificial Intelligence, Health Tech

Medical voice assistant Suki raises $20M

Medical voice assistant startup Suki closed a $20 million funding round. Flare Capital Partners led the round, and co-founder Bill Geary will join Suki’s board.

Suki, a startup building a voice assistant tool for physicians, closed a $20 million series B funding round. Flare Capital Partners, a Boston-based VC that focuses on healthcare technology, led the funding round. Co-founder and general partner Bill Geary will join Suki’s Board of Directors as part of the deal. Other investors included First Round, Venrock and Breyer Capital.

The new funds bring the total amount raised to date by Suki to $40 million. The Redwood City-based startup plans to use the additional funding to build out its user base and add features to streamline billing, coding, and other administrative tasks.

Two large health systems, Sutter Health and Ascension, currently use Suki’s software to assist with documentation. RxHealth, a spinoff of Mount Sinai Health System, also added Suki to its list of recommended digital health tools to mitigate physician burnout.

“It’s clear that physician burnout caused by documentation and administrative burden is a crisis in medicine, which is why we’ve seen such enthusiastic adoption of our technology to date and will continue this momentum with the support of our investors,” Suki Founder and CEO Punit Soni said in a news release. “Suki not only delivers a better physician experience, but also supports high-quality, coordinated care and improved coding and billing through its accurate, detailed medical notes.”

Working similarly to Amazon’s Alexa and other voice assistants, physicians can dictate their notes into health record systems and retrieve patient information instead of spending time clicking through an EHR. The company claims its digital assistant has lowered physicians’ average time per note from more than 13 minutes to just over 3 minutes across its user base.

Suki also says that by generating detailed clinical documentation, it can decrease claims denial rates by up to 19%.

“So much of startup’s success is driven by the quality, vision, and talent of the team behind the innovation,” Breyer Capital CEO Jim Breyer said in a news release. “Suki has attracted leading minds in machine learning and healthcare, a unique combination that has resulted in cutting-edge technology capable of integrating seamlessly into a physician’s daily practice.”

Soni co-founded the company in 2016, after serving as a lead project manager at Google and chief product office for ecommerce company Flipkart.  The company had a total of 50 employees as of December, and has made some new hires since, including a former sales leader for IBM Watson Health and an engineer who led AI teams for Adobe and Flipkart. Suki currently has seven openings listed on its website.

Photo credit: Jobalou, Getty Images