Digital health startup AESOP Technology has raised a $2.95 million series pre-A round to address the growing medical and billing errors problem. The round was led by Taiwania Capital with participation from Colopl Next, 500 Startups, and BE Capital.
Originally from Taiwan, AESOP started as a university spin-off from Taipei Medical University (TMU). Professor Yu Chuan (Jack) Li, the founder and current president of the International Medical Informatics Association, spent ten years before AESOP working on big data approaches to reduce medication errors. He initially applied the model to launch a product, RxPrime (previously known as MedGuard), that identifies wrong-drug errors.
During the pandemic in 2020, Prof. Li officially established AESOP in the US with his former student, who grew to become CIO of a TMU-affiliated hospital, Dr. Jim Long, and former TMU Visiting Assistant Professor, Dr. Jeremiah Scholl. They worked together to broaden the types of errors the AI could identify and on products they could use to improve the US healthcare system.
"Our solution is revolutionary and generalizable." CEO Jim Long described. "We have developed an AI model with an exceptional understanding of the association between diagnoses and structured clinical data like medications, lab results, and procedures."
One of the first errors RxPrime identified was a 9-year-old girl accidentally prescribed an anti-schizophrenia drug for simple back pain. Another commonly prescribed error was Acetaminophen (pain killer), sometimes mistaken as Acetazolamide (glaucoma and altitude illness). "These mistakes might occur just because the two drugs have look-alike or sound-alike (LASA) names. It is horrible to think about, but errors like LASA happen in hospitals everywhere." Jim explained