Harvard spinout creates AI coach to field patient questions between medical visits: 4 things to know

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Memora Health, a startup based in the Harvard Innovation Labs at Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University, developed an artificial intelligence-powered virtual coach to answer patients' questions, AmericanInno reports.

Here are four things to know about the startup.

1. The virtual coach, named Felix, supports patients who develop follow-up questions about their condition or treatment after returning home from a hospital visit. Memora Health co-founder and CEO Nisarg Patel told AmericanInno Felix is "built to talk [to a patient via text message] the way a nurse would talk with a patient over the phone."

2. Mr. Patel, a fourth-year doctor of dental medicine candidate at the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, both based in Boston, co-founded Memora Health with two recent graduates from Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology.

Mr. Patel developed the idea for the startup after noticing many patients who regularly visited the hospital didn't have the support system to manage a chronic condition at home. "They were even given the term 'frequent flyers,'" he said.

3. Memora Health sells the virtual coach to private practices and hospital departments, which in turn offer the service to patients, primarily by adding the Felix phone number to discharge papers so patients are able to text the line directly. The virtual coach also integrates with the organization's EHR system to ensure Felix has access to relevant patient information.

4. Memora Health is working on paid pilot programs with Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital and Atlanta-based Grady Memorial Hospital.

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