Generative AI startup TORTUS has secured $4.2 million from Khosla Ventures to help in its goal of giving every clinician an AI assistant to automate the clinical documentation process.

The company’s O.S.L.E.R (Operating System Leverage in Electronic Records) product helps clinicians with time-consuming administrative tasks, freeing them up to spend more time on patient care. It can automate the clinical documentation process, ready for a final sign-off by the clinician. By listening to the clinician’s conversation with a patient and interacting with electronic health records systems, the solution can automate pre-chart summaries, visit notes, lab requests, coding and more.

TORTUS’s solution works by actively processing doctors’ notes in real-time, and automatically inputting data into and taking supervised actions in the patient’s EHR. Consultation audio is not recorded or stored by O.S.L.E.R to safeguard patient privacy. Any outputs are stored directly in the hospital’s secure EHR.

The seed round was led by Khosla Ventures and also included Entrepreneur First, former NHS chair, Lord David Prior, with Eric Jang, VP of AI at 1X Technologies joining as chief scientific advisor.

Funds will be used to speed up the development and compliance of the O.S.L.E.R agent, broadening its current capabilities to include performing tasks such as placing prescription orders and adding diagnoses and coding to the system.

Lord David Prior, former health minister & NHS chair, said: “The UK has some of the most innovative, exciting health-tech companies in the world. TORTUS is one of them. O.S.L.E.R. will transform the working lives of doctors and is truly setting the standard for how innovative technologies like generative AI can be safely harnessed and deployed into the NHS to benefit clinicians and patients alike.

“As the workload for clinicians in the NHS is constantly increasing, TORTUS is now automating healthcare note generation and records, giving doctors more time to focus directly on the patient, but the future potential of this technology is nearly limitless.”

Great Ormond Street partnership

TORTUS has also announced a pilot with Great Ormond Street Hospital, which will see its technology evaluated in a clinical setting. This marks the first time an NHS trust has deployed generative AI in practice. It will be rolled out in partnership and collaboration with clinicians to ensure it’s safe and secure for both patients and care teams.

Dr Shankar Sridharan, chief clinical information officer and consultant paediatric cardiologist at Great Ormond Street, said: “Healthcare professionals across all roles spend an average of 13.5 hours per week adding to, or creating, clinical documentation. This is more than a third of the average clinician’s working hours, and 25% more time than in 2015.

“At GOSH, we’re committed to rigorously trialling the best new clinical technologies to generate valuable data and evaluate their impact. We’re very excited to have this opportunity to partner with TORTUS and to study how generative AI tools could help our clinicians by safely freeing them from administrative tasks and allowing them to spend more time directly interacting with patients.”

The partnership will involve a multi-phase research study. Already the tool has been tested in simulated conversations between Great Ormond Street clinicians and actors playing the role of patients. A cohort of clinicians is now using O.S.L.E.R in their outpatient clinics to help evaluate its ability in the documentation of notes and letters.

TORTUS has become the first company of its kind to achieve compliance under the NHS DTAC Standard.

As part of its plans for the future, TORTUS is focusing on expansion into additional hospitals and primary care organisations and has a number of primary care sites which are set to go live this month.