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Former DeepMind and Google Health execs’ startup, Phare Health, secures £2.5M for AI-powered fintech tool for hospitals

Phare Health founders
Picture credits: Phare Health

London-based Phare Health working on developing AI products to help hospitals better understand the state of their finances and track cashflows, has snapped £2.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by General Catalyst alongside strategic backers KHP Ventures known for investing in Patchwork Health, WeWALK and Doccla, and Bertelsmann Investments. 

Phare Health will use this seed funding to continue developing its AI system, in conjunction with leading European and US healthcare systems. Over time, Phare Health is developing a real-time, action-oriented intelligence engine for healthcare systems built on structured data. It will also expand its team, recruiting AI and healthcare expertise in key markets. 

Deploys AI for non-clinical tasks

In recent years, the healthcare systems have experienced increased financial pressures, with hospitals forced to make significant cuts and two-thirds of European hospitals at a financial breaking point. In the NHS, a perfect storm of a pandemic-exacerbated backlog, doctor and nurse strikes, and an ageing hospital infrastructure have led to over a third of integrated care systems facing a deficit in 2023. 

Founded by ex-DeepMind, Google Health, and Stanford alumni – Dr Martin Seneviratne, Lee Kupferman, and Tymor Hamamsy, Phare Health is building fintech tools for hospitals in the UK and Europe,

Phare Health is on a mission to support global healthcare systems to drive operational efficiencies via safe and practical applications of AI for non-clinical tasks. Its initial product securely leverages large language models to help hospitals capture high-quality data about the care they deliver, to help hospitals better manage resources and recover their costs efficiently, and to eventually ensure that NHS Trusts are reimbursed accurately for the work they are doing. 

The AI system reviews all patient notes written by clinicians and transforms them into structured, usable data for admin, operational and financial teams, helping to bridge the gap between clinicians and how the hospital operates to boost visibility and transparency for hospital leaders. 

Dr Martin Seneviratne, co-founder and co-CEO of Phare Health, said: “As a young doctor working in hospitals in Sydney and London, the most frustrating thing was having to spend time on admin, at the expense of patient care. While there is much discussion of the potential use of AI for clinicians, there is a much more urgent need for AI in the back office – doing low-risk, manual, administrative tasks that will free clinicians up to spend more time caring for patients. AI in healthcare should be invisible – it should help behind the scenes to make healthcare more efficient and safe without getting in the way of doctors and nurses.”

Lee Kupferman, co-founder and co-CEO of Phare Health, said:  “The real challenge with digital health technology is getting it into hospitals – these systems are already stretched and deploying digital tools is rightfully not always their top priority. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to work with this group of investors who have deep experience in working with health systems in the UK as well as globally and understand how to scale health tech companies. They’re the perfect partners for us to accelerate and make an immediate impact.”

Chris Bischoff, Managing Director of General Catalyst, said: “We believe Phare is pioneering an entirely new category of financial resilience products for health systems. By partnering with industry stakeholders from the outset, they have demonstrated the ability to collaborate with those who share their commitment to modernising the financial stack of the health system, with sustainability, patient care, and workforce wellbeing in mind. These values align with our Health Assurance thesis and we are excited to participate in their positive impact.”

Thorsten Wirkes, Senior Vice President at Bertelsmann Investments, said: “Automation holds tremendous potential to alleviate the ongoing labour shortage in the healthcare space. We’re excited to invest in Phare as initial customer feedback indicates a clear and strong ROI. Plus, Phare is the only automation coding company going after the inpatient market – and doing so with a global ambition. Overall, we at Bertelsmann Investments see great opportunities for the digital healthcare market and have already invested 90 million Euro in the market since last year.”

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