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Hippocratic AI launches with $50M seed

Illustration of AI elements coming out of a doctor's suit where their head should be.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Hippocratic AI launched with a $50 million seed round from General Catalyst and Andreessen Horowitz for its large language model (LLM) in health care.

Why it matters: This is one of the largest seed checks a16z has written for a health care company, signaling its strong desire to get in on the ground floor of AI.

Details: Hippocratic AI's model will offer non-diagnostic, patient-facing applications.

  • Hippocratic AI was founded by a group of physicians, hospital administrators, Medicare professionals, and artificial intelligence researchers.

What's next: "We are going to use the funds for GPU costs of training our model, content costs (pre-training content for the LLM), and costs for having doctors, nurses, and others give feedback to the models (RLHF)," CEO Munjal Shah tells Axios.

The big picture: Tech giants have rushed the market to develop and prove out LLMs.

  • Google and Microsoft-owned Nuance in the last month unveiled generative pre-trained transformer or GPT-based language models that could make AI-powered doctor's assistants relatively ubiquitous.
  • Clinician social network Doximity in February launched a beta ChatGPT site trained on health care-specific language.

The bottom line: Nuance CTO Joe Petro told Axios last month that "the large language model brings us into a new territory," with respect to clinical AI.

  • "Some of the best ideas have yet to make it to market," he said.
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