Conversational AI Startup mPulse Mobile Expands As Health Care Embraces Chatbots

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Conversational AI Startup mPulse Mobile Expands As Health Care Embraces Chatbots

mPulse Mobile, a Encino-based startup that provides conversational AI for health care companies, has acquired health care communications platform HealthCrowd and received a majority investment from private equity firm PSG, it announced Monday.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.


Both the acquisition and private equity investment highlight a growing movement in health care to leverage chatbots to be more patient-centric, cut down on tedious administrative procedures, and ultimately lower costs. mPulse and San Mateo-based HealthCrowd both offer AI to guide patients through health care decisions like understanding different insurance plans, scheduling appointments—and even combating COVID-19 misinformation.

Chatbots are becoming much more common for managing less urgent medical cases, in particular—allowing administrative staff at hospitals, urgent care clinics and doctor’s offices to focus on more pressing matters. What was once an underutilized pop-up feature on most websites is growing into a sophisticated tool to manage a complex web of health care systems.

For example, if a patient can’t afford their medication when they pick it up, mPulse’s technology can suggest low-cost alternatives or route them to the correct point of care to troubleshoot the issue. mPulse works with over 200 health care institutions including Kaiser, Medtronic and World Anthem.

Conversational AI “allows us to really improve the experience” for health care consumers, mPulse CEO Chris Nicholson told dot.LA. “It allows for open-ended responses through natural language understanding, automated responses like chat bots, but then also allows for human intervention to come into play.”

mPulse also received an undisclosed amount of funding led by PSG, a Boston-based private equity firm that targets growth-stage software companies. The investment makes PSG the majority shareholder in mPulse and will help the startup expand its services and onboard more health care clients.

Other popular AI-enabled health care chatbots include Microsoft’s Azure Health Bot, which is used by insurers like Premera to understand patients’ medical issues and send them to the proper point of care. Bay Area-based Suki, which has been described as “Siri for doctors,” raised $55 million last month in a funding round led by Santa Monica-based March Capital that valued the startup at $400 million.

https://twitter.com/KeerthiVedantam
keerthi@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending