Israel’s digital-health startup Kahun lands $8M seed funding for the first AI engine for clinical reasoning for physicians
In the last two decades, artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed the field of medicine and helped improve health outcomes and patient experiences. However, 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. But that’s about to change.
Enter Kahun, an Israeli AI health tech startup and developer of the first AI engine for clinical reasoning, that actually shows doctors what’s under the AI hood. The decisions of Kahun’s evidence-based clinical reasoning solution are based on the company’s proprietary map of over 30 million scientifically-backed medical insights.
Unlike the current AI solutions, Kahun’s engine performs clinical reasoning at scale using AI, with each question tailored to specific patients in order to take in all the pertinent findings and rule out rare diseases, or urgent situations. The process takes 3-5 minutes and 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.
To further build out its platform, Kahun announced today it has raised $8 million led by UK VC LocalGlobe, with participation from the EU’s EIC fund and The Founders Kitchen fund by Waze Co-founder Uri Levine, who has also led the pre-seed round. In total, the company has raised $13M to date.
Kahun will use the new capital infusion 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.
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.
Founded in 2018 by CEO Eitan Ron, Michal Tzuchman Katz, and Tal Goldberg, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based Kahun bridges the gap between Evidence-Based Medicine and clinical practice using an AI engine that replicates a physician’s clinical reasoning process. The startup is led by a team of internet tech veterans including a pediatric 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.
“NEJM Healer medical experts harness the AI-driven content from Kahun to create highly-curated illness scripts to expand our case library and help educators teach clinical reasoning through deliberate practice,” says Jeffrey Drazen MD, Editor for NEJM Group.
“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.