Navina, a company that develops AI-powered assistant software for physicians, today announced it has raised $22 million in Series B funding led by ALIVE with participation from Grove Ventures, Vertex Ventures Israel and Schusterman Family Investments. With the total raised from the startup to $44 million, including a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority, proceeds will go towards product development and expanding Navina’s footprint into home, virtual and urgent care. CEO and co-founder Ronen Lavi told TechCrunch.
Navina was founded by Ronen Lavi and Shay Perera, who previously ran the Israel Defense Forces’ AI lab, where they say they built AI “helper” systems for analysts suffering from data overload. Their work there inspired the products they built at Navina, which aim to help doctors drowning in medical data.
“The funding comes at a crucial time for the US healthcare industry in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic, when physician burnout is at an all-time high,” Lavi told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Navina’s platform has the unique ability to put exactly the right patient information in front of clinicians at the right time to give them insight at a glance, along with actionable information at the point of care.”
Various startups, and Headlines, for that matter, are developing AI assistant technologies for clinical settings. for example, there is Sukiwho raised $20 million to create a voice assistant for doctors, and bot’s DMan AI-based chatbot for doctors.
Lavi says that Navina is distinguished by her ability to “understand the complex language of medicine,” including non-clinical data. Trained on a dataset of image notes, consultation notes, hospital notes, procedures, and labs curated by a physician-led team, Navina’s AI systems integrate with existing electronic health record software to identify potential diagnoses and quality and risk gaps that require attention.
“Navina differentiates itself in the way it structures and organizes data specifically for primary care physicians at the point of care,” Lavi said. “Navina fits into existing workflows and familiar tools, meeting clinicians and staff where they are…Its goal is to align workflows to effectively serve patient populations and improve care.” based on value”.
One point of concern for this reporter is Navina’s diagnostic capabilities. While perhaps useful, medical algorithms have historically been built on biased rules and homogeneous data sets. The consequences have been serious. For example, an algorithm for determining eligible kidney transplant candidates places black patients lower on the list than white patients, even when all other factors remain the same.
In response to a question about bias, Lavi said Navina takes steps to “address inequalities and bias in health” and “ensure high accuracy of data sets and models.” She added that the company is HIPAA compliant and has undergone a third-party privacy audit, and is in the “final stages” of SOC2 certification.
With “thousands” of doctors and support staff using the platform, Lavi says he doesn’t expect the economic downturn to significantly affect Navina. However, he demurred when asked about the company’s revenue and the exact number of clients.
“The pandemic gave Navina and other health technology companies a boost as it required both patients and physicians to get used to new care modalities such as telemedicine and remote visits,” Lavi said. “This has led traditional primary care providers to look for solutions that can help them take responsibility for their patients no matter where they enter the healthcare system.”
Navina currently has 65 employees. He expects to end the year with around 75.