A healthcare startup that simulates real life patient conversations to help doctors and nurses communicate better has raised $1.5 million in Seed funding.
The round in SimConverse was led by Folklore Ventures, with support from Artesian.
SimConverse was founded by Aiden Roberts and Will Pamment after they met at uni, studying medicine. They has set out to digitise healthcare education and communication skills training using generative artificial intelligence (AI).
Roberts said that research suggests that ineffective communication among healthcare professionals is one of the leading causes of medical errors and patient harm, with around 70% of medical errors attributed to communication breakdowns.
SimConverse uses AI to play the role of a patient, colleague or family member in verbal communications to train the healthcare workforce at a fraction of the current cost, which involves the use of actors.
“Communication is the number one determinant of the quality of care a patient will receive. Without good communication you cannot treat, you cannot diagnose, and you cannot provide care,” Roberts said
“Healthcare systems are smart; they know the importance of good communication but haven’t had the tools to train their staff. With AI, we’re able to train everyone in the system – doctors, nurses, allied health and supporting professionals – and we’re able to do so at software prices for human actor results.”
Will Pamment said that by working directly with government health networks, universities and hospitals, SimConverse can develop scalable and accessible training tools to improve the quality of care that patients receive.
“SimConverse’s modular content approach means educators are uniquely able to adapt and customise the technology to suit the curriculum needs of all their learners,” he said.
Watch Startup Daily’s interview with founders Roberts and Pamment here.
Early customers include Queensland Health and NHS Lothian, as well as a number of prominent global universities such as the University of Canberra, Liverpool University and King’s College London. They’ll use the Seed funding to expand their customer base in the US, UK and Australia.
Folklore Partner Alister Coleman said the pace of the engagement SimConverse has had with the market is a testament to the clarity of their solution.
“Tackling avoidable healthcare failures from misdiagnosis and poor communication by combining medical theory and generative AI to offer ongoing and scalable training is incredibly exciting – yet existing simulation tools lack effective training and breadth,” he said.
“SimConverse empowers medical professionals with the skills to engage in meaningful conversations with their patients so they can then develop a more holistic understanding of their well-being, reduce the risk of errors and ultimately deliver better care.”