Serial entrepreneur Munjal Shah has launched a new health tech startup called Hippocratic AI that aims to utilize the power of large language models (LLMs) to enhance patient care and outcomes. Shah sees tremendous potential in applying LLMs to address unmet needs like chronic disease management and patient navigation.
Currently, there is a massive gap between patient needs and the availability of healthcare professionals to provide high-touch services. As Shah notes, there are only a few hundred thousand chronic care nurses in America, yet over 68 million people suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Hippocratic AI wants to leverage generative AI to essentially “super staff” the healthcare system. The vision is not to replace human nurses but to exponentially increase the personalized support patients receive.
Munjal Shah distinguishes between classifier AI models that categorize data based on patterns, which he previously used in his e-commerce startups, and LLMs’ more flexible, generative capabilities. LLMs can dynamically generate tailored responses to individual patient inquiries in a more human-like manner. Their ability to synthesize vast medical knowledge and contextually communicate that information makes them well-suited for augmenting nursing care.
However, Shah recognizes the risks associated with AI in healthcare, especially around potential diagnostic errors. Therefore, he has consciously focused Hippocratic AI on non-diagnostic applications. As Shah explains, “In diagnosis, it’ll be unsafe. That’s why I said, ‘Let’s not do diagnoses.’ Focus on all the other applications in health care.”
He cites examples of using the LLM for tasks like explaining billing details and test results to patients – areas where human nurses are overburdened. With customized training on medical journals and insurance data, Hippocratic AI’s model can take on time-consuming administrative work to alleviate pressure on frontline staff. But Shah stresses the importance of oversight from medical professionals to ensure the LLM meets rigorous standards before deployment.
Fundamentally, Munjal Shah wants to explore whether AI could help healthcare achieve staffing levels and capacity that were previously unattainable. With the nursing shortage expected to worsen in the years ahead and America’s aging population driving up demand, tools like Hippocratic AI’s LLM may be imperative to closing the widening gap.
While risks exist, Shah believes generative AI can unlock tremendous potential in healthcare if applied ethically. With careful oversight and limitations to non-diagnostic use cases initially, Hippocratic AI aims to augment human capabilities and availability – achieving personalized care for patients that our overburdened system currently cannot match. For chronic disease sufferers significantly, LLMs like Hippocratic AI’s could help save lives through consistent support rarely possible today.