London-based generative AI start-up TORTUS was founded in 2022 by cardiologist Dr Dom Pimenta and machine learning engineer Christopher Tan. TORTUS’s platform, O.S.L.E.R. (‘oz-ler’: Operating System Leverage in Electronic Records), uses AI to assist clinicians in a variety of time-consuming everyday tasks, with the goal of eliminating burnout and human error from healthcare.
A new round of seed funding led by Khosla Ventures sees the company raise US$4.2m to provide every clinician a personal AI assistant. The first-of-its-kind pilot with world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH), will evaluate the technology in clinical settings, now that TORTUS has become the first UK-based company to achieve the NHS DTAC standard of compliance for this AI technology.
“Healthcare professionals across all roles spend an average of 13.5 hours per week adding to, or creating, clinical documentation. This is more than a third of the average clinician’s working hours, and 25% more time than in 2015,” says Dr Shankar Sridharan, Chief Clinical Information Officer and Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at GOSH. Founded in 1852, Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals with the broadest range of dedicated, children’s healthcare specialists under one roof in the UK. With more than 252,000 outpatient and 43,000 inpatient visits every year, the hospital’s pioneering research and treatment gives hope to children from across the UK with the rarest, most complex and often life-threatening conditions.
“At GOSH, we’re committed to rigorously trialling the best new clinical technologies to generate valuable data and evaluate their impact. We’re very excited to have this opportunity to partner with TORTUS and to study how generative AI tools could help our clinicians by safely freeing them from administrative tasks and allowing them to spend more time directly interacting with patients.”
AI support for every clinician
“Doctors become doctors because they want to care for patients, but the reality today is that they are burdened with administrative work resulting in physician burnout and compromised patient care,” comments Adina Tecklu, Partner at Khosla Ventures.
“TORTUS is the AI assistant for every physician, in every patient visit. It automates documentation and critical workflows so that doctors can spend more time with patients and no time on paperwork, a huge boon to both physician and patient wellbeing.”
By listening to conversation between the clinician and their patient, the O.S.L.E.R. technology automates the clinical documentation process for final sign off by clinicians – including pre-chart summaries, visit notes, lab requests, coding, and more – by listening to the clinician’s conversation with their patient. By processing the doctors’ notes in real time, data is input and managed, but with no storage or recording capacity, O.S.L.E.R. is not a risk to patient confidentiality.
“Throughout my 16 year medical career I’ve witnessed countless cases of burnout amongst my colleagues, and I’ve experienced it first-hand on more than one occasion. I know that over-worked, stressed clinicians can’t deliver the best quality of care to patients, and that this negatively impacts their patients’ experiences and outcomes,'' shares Co-founder and CEO of TORTUS, Dr Dom Pimenta.
“We created O.S.L.E.R to free clinicians from their keyboards and the burden of administrative tasks. The technology delivers an immediate improvement to the engagement between a clinician and patient, which is the foundation of every healthcare system.
“Ensuring patient safety, data security and water-tight regulatory compliance has been our primary focus during every stage of the product development and testing. We now have the evidence and approvals to confidently enter into a partnership with one of world’s leading paediatric hospitals, and to transform the working practices of their clinicians for the better.
“I’d like to thank the GOSH team and all of our investors for their support of our mission to develop safe and effective generative AI technologies that solve healthcare’s biggest challenges”.
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