Somn - Human-like AI receptionists for clinics

Healthcare Efficiency Reimagined: The Rise of Somn's AI Receptionists

What is Somn and How Did It Start?

Somn is a pioneering startup that specializes in creating human-like AI receptionists for healthcare clinics. Founded in 2022, Somn aims to revolutionize the way clinics manage their appointment scheduling and patient interactions by automating repetitive phone call tasks. The company was co-founded by Shawn Shivdat, who serves as the CEO, and Deniz Sert, the CTO.

Shawn Shivdat brings a wealth of experience to Somn, having studied Computational Neuroscience at Harvard and previously built patient outcome prediction software at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He also launched a job board product at a health tech startup and founded a global nonprofit organization. Deniz Sert, on the other hand, graduated from MIT with a Bachelor's in Computer Science in Spring 2023 and gained experience as a software engineering intern at Apple Maps.

What Problem Does Somn Aim to Solve?

Healthcare clinics often face a significant challenge in managing their phone calls. Tasks such as booking appointments, following up after visits, reminding patients of upcoming appointments, verifying insurance, and calling referring providers can consume a substantial amount of time. These tasks prevent clinic staff from focusing on more critical responsibilities, such as interacting with patients, building relationships with families, and completing clinical documentation.

In many cases, particularly in specialties like physical therapy, clinicians might be unable to answer phone calls while attending to patients. This leads to missed calls, unhappy patients, and lost revenue. Somn addresses this problem by providing AI assistants that handle phone calls involving repetitive tasks, allowing clinicians to concentrate on patient care.

How Does Somn's AI Solution Work?

Somn's AI receptionists are designed to integrate seamlessly with existing clinic technologies, including fax machines, Electronic Health Records (EHRs), and phone systems. This integration ensures that clinics do not need to overhaul their current systems to benefit from Somn's services. The AI assistants are capable of performing a variety of tasks, such as:

  • Booking and confirming appointments
  • Sending reminders for upcoming appointments
  • Following up with patients after their visits
  • Verifying insurance information
  • Communicating with referring providers

By automating these tasks, Somn's AI receptionists help clinics improve efficiency, enhance patient satisfaction, and reduce the administrative burden on staff.

What is the Background of Somn's Founders?

Shawn Shivdat and Deniz Sert bring complementary skills and experiences to Somn. Shawn's background in Computational Neuroscience and his experience in building healthcare software provide a strong foundation for developing AI solutions tailored to the needs of clinics. His involvement in his mother's private practice during his upbringing gave him firsthand insight into the challenges faced by healthcare providers.

Deniz's expertise in computer science and software engineering, honed at MIT and during his internship at Apple Maps, equips him with the technical skills needed to develop and implement Somn's AI technology. Together, Shawn and Deniz previously built an AI sleep improvement platform used by prestigious institutions such as Georgetown, Columbia, and Tufts. Their decision to pivot to AI receptionists for healthcare clinics during their time at Y Combinator (YC) reflects their commitment to addressing pressing needs in the healthcare industry.

What Makes Somn's AI Receptionists Unique?

Several factors distinguish Somn's AI receptionists from other solutions in the market. First and foremost, Somn focuses on creating AI that closely mimics human interaction. This human-like quality is crucial for maintaining patient trust and ensuring smooth communication. The AI assistants are designed to handle conversations naturally and effectively, making patients feel comfortable and understood.

Another key feature of Somn's solution is its ability to integrate with a wide range of existing technologies in clinics. This flexibility means that clinics do not have to invest in new infrastructure or undergo extensive training to use Somn's services. Instead, they can quickly and easily incorporate the AI assistants into their current workflows.

How is Somn Positioned in the Market?

Somn is positioned to address a critical gap in the healthcare industry by providing a solution that enhances efficiency and patient satisfaction. The company's AI receptionists are particularly valuable for clinics that experience high call volumes and need to optimize their administrative processes. By reducing the burden of repetitive tasks on clinic staff, Somn enables healthcare providers to dedicate more time and attention to patient care.

Somn's focus on seamless integration with existing systems also gives it a competitive edge. Many clinics are hesitant to adopt new technologies if it requires significant changes to their current operations. Somn's ability to work with existing EHRs, fax machines, and phone systems makes it an attractive option for clinics looking to improve efficiency without disrupting their workflows.

What are the Future Plans for Somn?

Looking ahead, Somn aims to expand its reach and impact in the healthcare industry. The company's immediate goal is to collaborate with clinics, startups, and healthcare systems before their Demo Day, offering free integration with existing systems for early adopters. This strategy is designed to build a strong customer base and demonstrate the effectiveness of Somn's AI receptionists.

In the long term, Somn envisions a future where AI receptionists become a standard feature in healthcare clinics worldwide. The company plans to continually improve its AI technology, incorporating feedback from users and staying ahead of industry trends. By doing so, Somn aims to set a new standard for patient communication and administrative efficiency in healthcare.

How Can Clinics Get Started with Somn?

Clinics interested in partnering with Somn can reach out to the company to learn more about the AI receptionists and how they can be integrated into their operations. The process typically begins with an assessment of the clinic's current systems and workflows, followed by a tailored implementation plan. Somn's team works closely with clinic staff to ensure a smooth transition and provide ongoing support as needed.

For clinics that join Somn before Demo Day, the company offers free integration with existing systems, making it an opportune time to explore the benefits of AI receptionists. By adopting Somn's technology, clinics can enhance their operational efficiency, improve patient satisfaction, and ultimately provide better care to their patients.

Conclusion: Why Choose Somn?

Somn represents a forward-thinking approach to addressing the administrative challenges faced by healthcare clinics. By leveraging advanced AI technology, Somn's human-like receptionists automate repetitive tasks, allowing clinicians to focus on what matters most: patient care. With a strong foundation in computational neuroscience and software engineering, Somn's founders have created a solution that is both innovative and practical.

Clinics looking to improve their efficiency and patient interactions should consider partnering with Somn. The company's commitment to seamless integration, human-like AI interactions, and ongoing support makes it a valuable addition to any healthcare setting. As Somn continues to grow and evolve, it is poised to make a lasting impact on the healthcare industry, setting a new standard for administrative excellence.