‘Did you feel this AI cared about you?’ Startup announces ‘nursebots’

Health care agents created with artificial intelligence outperformed human nurses at detecting toxic over-the-counter dosages and other tasks

Medical startup Hippocratic AI is collaborating with California-based tech company NVIDIA to develop empathetic health care agents using artificial intelligence.

Described by Popular Science as “nursebots,” the AI-powered agents will be capable of interacting in conversations with patients — perhaps even build emotional connections.

“Voice-based digital agents powered by generative AI can usher in an age of abundance in healthcare, but only if the technology responds to patients as a human would,” Kimberly Powell, vice president of Healthcare at NVIDIA, said in a press release. “This type of engagement will require continued innovation and close collaboration with companies, such as Hippocratic AI, developing cutting-edge solutions.”

Hippocratic AI has been conducting research to determine what makes it easier for patients to emotionally connect with its AI agents, and the company has shared some of its results.

When asked, “Did you feel this AI cared about you?” more than 1,002 licensed nurses acting as patients responded, “Yes” 88.2% of the time. When asked, “Do you feel comfortable confiding in this AI?” nurses responded, “Yes” 88.9% of the time.

The AI health care agents significantly outperformed human nurses at detecting toxic over-the-counter dosages and other tasks.

“With generative AI, patient interactions can be seamless, personalized, and conversational — but in order to have the desired impact, the speed of inference has to be incredibly fast,” Munjal Shah, co-founder and CEO of Hippocratic AI, said in a press release.

“With the latest advances in LLM inference, speech synthesis and voice recognition software, NVIDIA’s technology stack is critical to achieving this speed and fluidity,” he continued. “We’re working with NVIDIA to continue refining our technology and amplify the impact of our work of mitigating staffing shortages while enhancing access, equity, and patient outcomes.”