A healthcare simulation platform using generative artificial intelligence (AI) to help healthcare professionals avoid medical errors and patient harm has secured $1.5 million in seed funding in a round led by Folklore Ventures.
Called SimConverse, the Sydney-based medtech startup is aiming to improve healthcare education with its platform that utilises AI to play the role of any patient, colleague or family member in any given verbal communication scenario.
As such, SimConverse is looking to roll out its platform to the larger healthcare network in a bid to reduce expensive training costs and reliance on human actors.
Co-founders Aiden Roberts and Will Pamment, who started the company in 2020, also hope to reduce the number of medical errors attributed to communications breakdowns within the healthcare space.
“Communication is the number one determinant of the quality of care a patient will receive. Without good communication you cannot treat, you cannot diagnose, and you cannot provide care,” co-founder and CEO Roberts said.
“Healthcare systems are smart; they know the importance of good communication but haven’t had the tools to train their staff.
“With AI, we’re able to train everyone in the system – doctors, nurses, allied health and supporting professionals – and we’re able to do so at software prices for human actor results.”
The co-founders, who have a background in medical radiation physics and medical theory, already have early customers on board including Queensland Health and NHS Lothian in Scotland, as well as prominent global universities such as University of Canberra, Liverpool University and King’s College London.
With the $1.5 million in seed funding locked in, which was also supported by investment management firm Artesian, the pair hope to expand SimConverse’s customer base at home and in the US and the UK.
Folklore founder and managing partner Alister Coleman said the firm was thrilled to back SimConverse. The fund has previously invested in the likes of Swoop Aero, Strong Compute, HealthMatch and many more Australian startups and scaleups.
“The SimConverse team is world-class, and the pace of their engagement with the market and the demand for the product is a testament to the clarity of their vision,” Coleman said.
“Tackling avoidable healthcare failures from misdiagnosis and poor communication by combining medical theory and generative AI to offer ongoing and scalable training is incredibly exciting – yet existing simulation tools lack effective training and breadth.
“SimConverse empowers medical professionals with the skills to engage in meaningful conversations with their patients so they can then develop a more holistic understanding of their well-being, reduce the risk of errors and ultimately deliver better care.”
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