$2.2B startup to release AI chatbot for healthcare

Transcarent, a $2.2 billion healthcare startup backed by health systems, is developing an artificial intelligence chatbot to help patients answer healthcare questions, Forbes reported May 15.

Transcarent CEO Glen Tullman told the news outlet that telehealth as we know it is dead, and that healthcare has entered the age of texting. "All of the virtual care we're doing now is all going to move to chat," he said, predicting that 80-85% of telehealth interactions will be written. The company, which recently landed $126 million in funding from investors including Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System, plans to release the ChatGPT-like tool in January to respond to patients seeking medical advice and information on their insurance coverage, according to the story.

"This is truly a generational step," Mr. Tullman told Forbes. "We've gone from boring navigation, which wasn't really interesting, to one place to get all of your care." He added that the company is "creating Amazon for healthcare."

Mr. Tullman sold his last digital health company, chronic disease management platform Livongo, to Teladoc in 2020 for $18.5 billion (Teladoc now has a market capitalization of about $2.2 billion). But Transcarent is going after a different segment of healthcare, targeting the 134 million Americans whose employers are self-insured, according to the story. The company has also partnered with 10 health systems on its direct-to-employer platform.

According to Forbes, the chatbot built on OpenAI's GPT-4 large language model aims to answer questions such as: "How much will I have to pay for this doctor's visit?" "What's my deductible?" and "Can you help me find a doctor?"

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