Although we touched on Hippocratic AI’s emergence from stealth last week, the startup struck all the right chords with its talk of generative AI and large language models so we’re doing a deeper dive to unpack the hype.
Hippocratic AI debuted with $50M from a massive seed round co-led by the VC power duo of General Catalyst and a16z, giving the company a “triple-digit millions” valuation right out of the gate.
- The company’s mission is to transform healthcare through the power of “safety-focused” generative AI, but potential use cases are still in the works, with early ideas revolving around consumer-facing tasks like diet planning and medication reminders.
- The founders even told STAT that their goals for the funding are only exploratory: developing a LLM that’s fine-tuned for healthcare, heavily testing it against knowledge benchmarks, then measuring its bedside manner.
If including Hippocratic in the name wasn’t enough of a hint, pressure-testing the model’s accuracy is in the company’s DNA, and it isn’t planning on rushing into clinical care.
- Accuracy is ensured through reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) performed by medical professionals – a strategy that’s apparently outperforming GPT-4 on 105 of 114 healthcare certifications. [Comparison Chart]
- As for bedside manner, Hippocratic is planning on “detecting tone” and “communicating empathy” better than rival models, and developed its own benchmark for behaviors such as “taking a personal interest in a patient’s life.”
Healthcare hasn’t always been kind to AI-first businesses, with IBM having to let go of its Watson Health division and Babylon recently meeting the end of its road as a publicly traded company. That said, both of those examples paddled too early to catch the current generative AI wave with its mile-long barrel of new tech and excitement. It’s too early to tell whether Hippocratic will buck the trend, but if there was ever a moment to try it – this is it.