Heidi, a medtech platform that is tackling the looming shortage of doctors through improved workflows at GP clinics, has raised $10 million in a Series A round to drive software development and help launch a new product to the market.
The raise, led by Blackbird Ventures and supported by Hostplus, Hesta, Wormhole Capital, Archangel Ventures, Possible Ventures and Saniel Ventures, will also be use by Heidi to expand its in-house team of doctors, designers and engineers as the company pursues global opportunities for its artificial intelligence-driven platform.
Founded in 2021 by Dr Thomas Kelly, Waleed Mussa and Yu Liu, Heidi is used by more than 100 GPs in about 30 clinics across Australia.
The latest raise boosts the Melbourne-based company’s total capital raised since inception to $15 million with the funds set to also help Heidi launch its latest offering, Second, an AI-driven system that harnesses a doctor’s expertise and medical context to enable clinicians to automate administrative tasks.
These include gathering histories, building ward round lists, performing clinical audits, writing clinical notes, creating documents, optimising discharge summaries for billings and processing referrals, all of which add to the workload of clinical staff.
A US study estimates that clinicians spend twice as much time on paperwork than providing essential care and services, a problem that Heidi says not only affects patients but also clinician burnout rates.
With forecasts by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency of a potential shortage of 10,600 GPs nationally by 2031, Kelly says he co-founded Heidi with the aim of easing capacity constraints in the sector.
"People are living longer with more chronic conditions,” Kelly says.
“While medicine has become increasingly specialised, junior doctors aren't choosing to become GPs. This has created a crippling burden on our GPs, limiting their ability to provide the service and care that Australians expect and deserve.”
Kelly experienced the issue first-hand while working as a rural GP and in public hospital outpatient clinics.
“You're overrun with patients and there are never enough hours in the day,” he says.
“My time as a doctor was so often wasted doing paper referrals, waiting on hold or filling in copious amounts of documentation to satisfy the government's requirements for some piece of Medicare funding. Overcoming these challenges is the guiding vision of Heidi.”
Kelly says Heidi uses AI to automate the administrative components of care and better orchestrate the resources of clinician resources with the patient population.
“We’ve seen incredible traction with clinics already, where we’re already live, making a genuine difference for patients and practitioners,” he says.
“That endorsement from the industry is humbling and provides validation for our technology and vision.
“This Series A raise is intended to accelerate our vision of providing humanity with optimal healthcare by supporting every clinician with superhuman medical AGI (artificial general intelligence).
“The first version of that AGI, Second, is beginning to ship today. Second is superpowers for clinicians, and the first expression of our vision to change the world powered by Heidi's consult data."
Michael Tolo, general partner at Blackbird Ventures, sees Heidi providing a ‘safe path’ to drive efficiencies for clinicians in the healthcare system.
“Heidi's AI allows clinicians to spend less time on administrative tasks, and more time on what matters most - to foster enduring relationships with their patients and invest in preventative care,” Tolo says.
“We are proud to continue supporting Heidi in its mission to build a sustainable healthcare system for future generations.”
The latest capital raise comes on the heels of a seed round for Heidi totalling $5 million which was led by Blackbird Ventures in 2021.
Heidi had its origins in 2019 as Oscer, a clinical training platform that the Heidi founders continue to operate as part of the Heidi group.
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