On heels of $100M funding round, Olive expands healthcare AI capabilities

doctor working at computer
Olive has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic driven by hospitals’ urgent need for administrative efficiency as they navigate the public health crisis. (Utah778/GettyImages)

Healthcare software startup Olive is expanding its artificial intelligence capabilities to assist healthcare workers with time-consuming tasks like prior authorizations and patient verifications.

The company's new Olive Helps platform, unveiled Monday as part of the HLTH VRTL conference, is designed to work "hand-in-hand" with healthcare employees to provide real-time intelligence throughout their workday.

The goal is to turn healthcare employees into "super" human workers who can work faster, smarter and more efficiently, Olive CEO Sean Lane told Fierce Healthcare in an exclusive interview.

"Olive Helps is like an ever-present companion that’s always sensing the needs of human workers and delivering valuable information tailored for the individual user and their environment," he said.

Olive Helps minimizes the time it takes a healthcare worker to carry out critical activities such as billing and patient verification by using AI technology to anticipate what the user will need and providing the information and tools necessary to do their jobs, according to the company.

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Lane and his team first deployed Olive in 2017 with the idea to tackle the high-volume, repetitive and manual tasks healthcare workers do every day but faster and more accurately. 

More than 600 hospitals currently use Olive's AI-enabled robotic process automation solution, what Lane calls a "digital employee." The company's Olive Works solution automates high-volume, critical tasks across revenue cycle, supply chain, IT, human resources, finance, accounting, pharmacy operations and clinical operations. These tasks are typically "keep-the-lights-on" activities that largely occur in the background, in the cloud and at night, Lane said.

Olive's new Help technology is a desktop platform that uses sensors to observe and understand the context of an employee’s work through the interactions they have with applications, webpages, keystrokes and highlighted text.

Based on what Olive detects in the employees’ environment, the solution searches for and retrieves relevant intelligence, similar to how Google serves the most relevant search results first, according to Olive.

Information is delivered to the employee in the form of "whispers," or relevant insights and actions that support them in their jobs.

"Those 'whispers' act like a notice, alert, or pop-up that says, 'This is the right medication code to use' or 'Here is this patient's insurance information,'" Lane said.

The Olive Helps platform will be supported by a community of technology developers who will built "loops," or Olive's version of apps, according to Lane. Once a loop is created, healthcare workers can access that loop in the loop library, like an app store.

RELATED: Startup Olive banks another $106M to build out hospital AI 'command centers'

This loop library creates an economy of partners across the healthcare and technology ecosystems–from startups and enterprise companies to health systems and pharmaceutical companies–using Olive’s loop development kit.

The company anticipates that the solution will be available to all their 600-plus hospital customers in 2021. 

Olive used its expertise in AI and cybernetics to design a user experience that provides valuable information at the right time without inundating workers with too many alerts, Lane said.

"It's a tricky thing to get right. We spent time working on it to make sure we're not crowding the computer screen or giving them alert fatigue," he said.

Olive has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic driven by hospitals’ urgent need for administrative efficiency as they navigate the public health crisis. As hospitals and health systems across the country face financial strain, healthcare executives are turning to AI to streamline processes and revitalize revenues without impacting personnel or patient care.

On the heels of a $51 million funding round in March, the company just secured $106 million in financing led by an equity investment from General Catalyst and Drive Capital along with Ascension Ventures, Oak HC/FT and SVB Capital.

Olive has raised over $220 million to date.

The company also is investing in scaling up on-site AI command centers at hospitals, called AlphaSites, with plans to build 66 sites by the end of 2021. These command centers rapidly deploy and manage AI workers. Located at large health systems, AlphaSites feature 2,000-square-foot rooms with 20-foot LED data visualization wall displays.