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Hyro secures $30 million for its healthcare-focused, AI-powered conversational platform

Israel Krush and Rom Cohen first met in an AI class at Cornell Tech, where they bonded over a shared desire to apply AI voice technologies to the healthcare industry. Specifically, they sought to automate routine messages and calls that often lead to administrative burnout, such as scheduling calls, prescription renewals, and searching physician directories.

Several years after graduating, Krush and Cohen brought their ideas to life with Hyro, which uses AI to facilitate text and voice conversations across the web, call centers and apps between healthcare organizations and their customers. . Hyro today announced that it has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Liberty Mutual, Macquarie Capital and Black Opal, bringing the startup’s total raised to $35 million.

Krush says the new funds will be invested in expanding Hyro’s go-to-market and R&D teams.

“When we researched an area that would benefit the most from the transformation of these technologies, we discovered and validated that healthcare, with staffing shortages and outdated processes, had the greatest needs and pain points, and we continued to focus on this particular vertical,” Krush told TechCrunch in an email interview.

For Krush, the health sector faces a significant shortage of personnel, exacerbated by the logistical complications that have arisen during the pandemic. In a recent interview with Keona Health, Halee Fischer-Wright, CEO of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), said the MGMA had heard that 88% of medical practices had difficulty recruiting frontline staff at the course of the last year. According to another estimate, the health sector has lost 20% of its workforce.

Hyro does not try to replace staff members. But he do inject automation into the equation. The platform essentially replaces traditional IVR systems, automatically handling calls and texts using conversational AI.

Hyro can answer common questions and manage tasks like booking or rescheduling an appointment, providing engagement and conversion metrics on the backend.

Many platforms do – or at least claim to. Meet RedRoute, a voice-based conversational AI startup that delivers an “Alexa-like” customer service experience over the phone. Elsewhere, there’s Omilia, which provides a conversational solution that works across platforms (eg phone, web chat, social media, SMS, etc.) and integrates with existing customer support systems.

But Krush says Hyro is differentiated. On the one hand, he says, it offers an AI-powered search function that retrieves up-to-date information on a customer’s website, ostensibly preventing questions from being answered incorrectly (a notorious problem with AI text generator). Hyro also has “smart routing”, which allows it to “intelligently” decide whether to automatically perform a task, send a link to self-service via SMS, or route a request to the correct department.

A bot created using Hyro’s developer tools. Picture credits: Hyro

“Our AI assistants have been used by tens of millions of patients, automating conversations across different channels,” Krush said. “Hyro creates a feedback loop by identifying knowledge gaps, essentially mimicking the operations of a call center agent. It also shows in a conversation exactly how the AI ​​assistant deduced the correct answer to a query from a patient or customer, meaning that if incorrect answers were given, a business can figure out exactly what element of content or dataset is labeled incorrectly and correct accordingly.

Of course, no technology is perfect, and Hyro is probably no exception to the rule. But the startup’s sales pitch was enough to win over dozens of healthcare networks, providers and hospitals as customers, including Weill Cornell Medicine. Annual recurring revenue has doubled since Hyro launched in 2019, Krush claims.

Hyro’s future plans involve expanding into industries adjacent to healthcare, including real estate and the public sector, as well as complementing the platform with more customization options, business optimization recommendations and a “variety” in AI skills supported by Hyro.

“The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare and made the issues we are solving very clear and obvious (e.g. surge in calls about information, access to testing, etc.),” Krush said. . “We were one of the first to offer a COVID-19 virtual assistant that deployed in less than 48 hours based on reliable health system information and trusted resources such as the CDC and the Organization global health… Hyro is well funded, with good growth and momentum, and we’ve always managed a responsible budget, so we’re actually looking to grow and gain more market share as our competitors slow down.


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