Doctor's assistant Robin Healthcare emerges from stealth mode

By Laura Lovett
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Emerging out of stealth mode, health tech startup Robin Healthcare has just announced its voice-enabled AI device that is designed to help doctors and clinicians write clinical notes. The device, which looks similar to an Amazon Alexa or Google Home voice assistant, will sit in a doctor’s office and draft notes from doctors' spoken conversations. 

“Through the natural conversation between the physician and the patients we are able to produce fully available clinical notes that get inserted directly to the physician’s EMR,” Noah Auerhahn, CEO and cofounder of Robin, told MobiHealthNews. “So we are solving the problem of physician administrative burn out that is coming from the documentations that physicians spend dozens of hours a week on.”

After an appointment, the clinician will still need to look at the notes and make changes accordingly. Cofounder and President of Robin Emilio Galan said that while it would be great for doctors not to have to worry about notes at all, it is important that the information gets double checked and added to if needed.

Before the technology is used, a doctor or clinician must ask a patient if they are alright with having it in the room. But Auerhahn said that so far this hasn’t been an issue and that patients like having the physician’s full attention. 

The cofounders said they witnessed physician’s paper work burden firsthand. Galan, for instance, said that he bumped into the obstacle while he was training to be a physician, and noted he saw numerous doctors leave the profession because they were overloaded with work (much of it paperwork) and didn’t have time to see their families. 

“As we started putting together the business — and we have been at it for a year and a half — we looked at existing technology that is available in healthcare and came to the conclusion that the problem with the tech in healthcare is that it asks physicians to do things other than patient care. Whether it be clicking, typing, using key words, doing certain actions, all of these things take away from patient care,” Galan told MobiHealthNews. “We didn’t want to provide just a transcript. ... Robin does the hard job. You place this device in the room and you forget about it, … we go through that dialog and pull out the clinically relevant information and structure it into the right places. So medication you took previously but didn’t work is going somewhere in history of present illness, medications that are prescribed today are going into the plan.”

The company has already raked in $3.5 million in seed funding led by IA Ventures, Social Leverage, and Meridian Street. The startup is using the funding for product development and natural language processing development. 

Right now the company has 50 devices out in the Bay Area with paying customers at half a dozen clinics. 

Doctor’s assistants have become increasingly popular in the digital health space. At the beginning of the month, voice-enabled assistant for doctors Suki also raised $20 million toward the goal of lightening doctors' paperwork burden. 

Also in May, Notable launched a wearable voice-powered AI system that helps doctors transcribe from their smartwatches.