What You Should Know:
– Kahun, an evidence-based clinical reasoning tool for physicians, raises $8 million in a seed funding round led by LocalGlobe with the participation of European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund as part of the EIC Accelerator program and The Founders Kitchen (TFK).
– Kahun will leverage the funding to continue building the largest ever map of evidence-based medical knowledge powered by AI. The funds will be used to continue adding new sub-specialties beyond primary care, and expand its go-to-market efforts around offering gold-standard clinical assessments for telemedicine organizations.
Evidence-Based Clinical Reasoning Tool for Physicians
Founded in 2018 and based in Israel, Kahun is a digital-health startup that replicates a physician’s clinical reasoning process. Kahun is led by a team of accomplished internet tech veterans including a paediatric specialist with years of experience in software engineering. Kahun is driven by a strong conviction in the need to map vast textual, evidence-based medical knowledge and use it for building tools that facilitate better medical practices.
At the heart of the health provider’s work is the task of clinical reasoning, which represents the process of connecting the dots between a patient’s clinical presentation (including symptoms and tests) and reaching a diagnosis. When physicians conduct clinical reasoning, they essentially apply their own ‘mental map’ of medical knowledge and experience to the specific patient, a process that today has no benchmark or gold standards. A tool that ‘speaks’ to physicians in their own language and provides full transparency of its insights, has an immense potential to help with fighting major healthcare challenges such as physician burnout, fatigue, and provider shortages.
Current AI tools for healthcare providers have failed to address current challenges and gain trust in the medical community. They use a combination of big-data engines built on patient records and experts’ knowledge, not on evidence-based medical literature. These tools face challenges and biases as they aren’t trained to perform actual clinical reasoning and are black boxed—meaning the insights they provide aren’t traceable or referenced to medical literature.
Kahun has essentially developed a clinical reasoning solution that can be understood and trusted by physicians. Its engine performs clinical reasoning at scale by basing its decisions on the company’s proprietary map of over 30 million evidence-based medical insights. Kahun’s algorithmic engine utilizes this map in real time to generate clinical insights tailored to each specific patient. Insights are referenced and backed by links to originating knowledge.
Kahun’s first application is a comprehensive clinical assessment chatbot. The tool employs the same reasoning expected from trained providers, asking all the right questions and dynamically calculating the best next questions. The questions are tailored to each specific patient in order to take in all the pertinent findings, rule out rare diseases, or urgent conditions. The process takes three to five minutes, leaving no stone unturned, and provides physicians with a clinical summary including recommendations for further evaluation. Since Kahun is solely based on medical evidence, it provides physicians with a gold-standard clinical assessment, saving precious interview and documentation time while offering an opportunity to improve the overall level of care.
The funding round comes on the heels of Kahun’s ongoing partnership with the New England Journal of Medicine, in which the company provides evidence-based illness scripts tailored to specific clinical presentations to generate evidence-based, real-time insights for the NEJM Healer application. NEJM Healer is an interactive, online-education application for teaching, exercising, and assessing clinical reasoning. After extensive use by over 500 students spanning medical schools, physician assistant programs, and resident-training programs, as well as feedback from educators, the NEJM Healer team is accelerating the expansion of the product’s case and illness script library. NEJM has turned to Kahun to help power this expansion
“This funding empowers Kahun to continue updating and improving the world’s largest map of evidence-based medical knowledge,” says Eitan Ron, Co-Founder and CEO of Kahun. “The technology behind our AI-solution follows the same building blocks that trained physicians rely on. By using peer-reviewed texts and trusted academic literature from every area of medicine, we built a digital medical advisor that is trained to think like a physician and relieves the burden they face by integrating tools that they can trust into their workflows. “