Billed as medical training's very own AI flight simulator, Manchester-based Re:course AI has locked down $4.3 million in seed funds to build foreign market share for its "generative AI" tuition product.
The funding was led by Edinburgh investor Par Equity and will also help to recruit more engineers as Re:course AI attempts to sell the medical profession on virtual tuition, using lifelike, conversational avatars for role play that emulates real patient scenarios.
Also taking part in the round is regional investor Northern Gritstone, GMC Life Sciences Fund By Praetura, angel investor of Rob Wood (founder of STEM Healthcare,) and the founders of Boston med tech Current Health.
Re:course's flight simulator analogy is instructive. Medical school is tough and burnout has caused plenty of talented prodigies to drop out.
Research co-published by Mayo Clinic in 2008 revealed roughly half of trainee doctors would experience symptoms of total exhaustion.
The Re:course AI avatars would act as a "co-pilot" to "steer" medical trainees through preparatory courses. Medical schools can choose from dozens of avatars, each equipped with language automation for a specific medical topic. Re:course AI will also train each avatar with distinct teaching parameters, which should help to address potential bias risks.
Re:course AI co-founder Scott Martin was eager to stress the overlap in thought across healthcare training and aviation schools, where pilots are also expected to undertake rigorous training.
"The aviation industry is another sector where safety is of paramount importance, and it has led the way in demonstrating the value of simulated training to maintain and update the skills of pilots,” Martin said. "We believe AI will augment, not replace, the healthcare workforce of the future and we have already demonstrated in our customer implementations that Re:course AI can be the flight simulator for medical training."
The startup is working in collaboration with a US medical school, USC Keck School of Medicine, and was also granted a $1.2 million award from NHS England's SBRI Healthcare unit.
The partnership with the English national health service has led to an early pilot with primary care clinicians in South Yorkshire. It's also supporting the UK's Ministry of Defence medical training for clinicians preparing to treat mental health of military personnel and veterans.
In addition to front line medicine, Recourse:AI also hopes its technology could address R&D labs in drug discovery and other life sciences fields. Martin said: "We are delighted to receive the backing of our investors, as we are keen to expand our team to respond to growing global demand for our digital human platform.”