Gyant, whose AI-enabled health platform is designed to drive patient-doctor engagement, today closed a $13.6 million round. The company says the funding will support its ongoing product development, operational, and interoperability efforts.

The demand for triaging technologies, like conversational bots, has risen substantially as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, which isn’t surprising. Millions of patients wait at least two hours to see a health care provider, according to a study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In response, tech giants like IBM, Facebook, and Microsoft have partnered with governments and private industry to roll out chatbot-based solutions, as have a number of startups.

Gyant, which has 24 customers (up from three a year ago) including Intermountain Healthcare and Geisinger, works with hospitals and providers to improve workflows and reduce costs. The startup’s customizable, AI-enabled navigation and symptom-checking tool — Front Door — can be added to any website or portal and ties in with medical record systems. It guides patients to health tools and chatrooms staffed with medical professionals. This complements Gyant’s virtual “waiting room” product — Gyant Clipboard — which captures patient information and handles onboarding with natural language processing to automatically populate medical charts.

Gyant delivers notifications and text messages via a mobile app to keep patients engaged with individual perioperative protocols and post-discharge treatment plans. In California, users with and without health insurance can access licensed doctors, who call in prescriptions to local pharmacies. After signing up and answering three to four questions about their symptoms or health issues, patients chat with a clinician and receive a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Wing Venture Capital led the series A investment and was joined by Intermountain Ventures and existing investors Grazia Equity, Alpana Ventures, Techstars Ventures, and Plug and Play Ventures.

San Francisco-based Gyant has competition in 98point6, CirrusMD, Heal, Pager, Kry, HealthTap, RubiconMD, SnapMD, Mfine, K HealthDoctor on Demand, and dozens more telemedical providers. The global telemedical market — which encompasses tech that facilitates remote medical diagnosis and treatment — is anticipated to climb from its current $38.3 billion valuation to $130.5 billion by 2025. That’s likely not an overestimate, given that a recent survey by Becker Hospital Review found over 67% of people in the U.S. believe telemedicine is better than in-person visits.

In anticipation of a surge in remote patients, the $2 trillion U.S. CARES Act sought to waive some of the financial and health care coverage difficulties around telehealth. For instance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it would temporarily pay clinicians to provide services for beneficiaries residing across the country, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unveiled a $200 million plan to boost telehealth services by purchasing the necessary services and equipment.

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