Appointment transcription service Abridge partners with Ribbon Health

Steven Loeb · December 16, 2020 · Short URL:

The goal of the partnership is to improve coordination between doctors and their patients

Even before COVID happened, the issues with the American healthcare system were well known: how it's too expensive, how it's difficult to access and how it's very confusing for the average patient to navigate. The pandemic only exacerbated these problems and made them even more apparent. 

That's why two companies that are both dedicated to making healthcare easier to understand have decided to join forces: on Wednesday, it was announced that Abridge, a company that uses machine learning to transcribe and highlight the most important parts of the doctor-patient conversation, is integrating entered into a partnership with healthcare data platform Ribbon Health, with the goal of improving coordination between doctors and their patients.

Through this partnership, Ribbon Health will power a new integrated feature in Abridge’s service that "will allow users to easily add and manage their clinicians’ information, access key contact details, and stay on the same page about care," Nate Maslak, co-founder and CEO of Ribbon Health, told VatorNews.

Abridge, which launched in October, gives users a transcript of the medical parts of their appointments. The Pittsburgh-based company is able to highlight important definitions and takeaways, such as what next steps a patient is supposed to take, or instructions on how to properly take their medication. 

All the user has to do is hit the record button during their appointment; the recording is then uploaded to a HIPAA-compliant server, and Abridge’s machine learning algorithms create a selective transcript of the medical parts of the conversation. The app, which has more than 400,000 terms indexed, can be used in routine annual exams, as well as in urgent care appointments and specialist conversations.

Ribbon Health, meanwhile, is a health data platform that works to give health plans, providers systems and digital health companies data that is both up to date and easy to access. The company provides its customers with an API layer that can be integrated into any healthcare organization’s workflow and UX. That API layer then continuously improves the accuracy of the platform’s data.

"Ribbon is solving the provider data problem with the infrastructure needed to power accurate provider directories, simple referral management, and efficient care navigation, all in one platform. Our flexible APIs make it easy for every healthcare decision to be informed by comprehensive, real-time information on doctors, insurance plans, and cost and quality of care," said Maslak.

The relationship between the two companies began in March, when Maslak met Dr. Shiv Rao, co-founder and CEO of Abridge, and Julia Chapin, the company's VP of Operations and "was blown away by their vision for the healthcare system and fell in love with their product."

"I was, and remain, incredibly excited by our clear alignment to power every care decision to be convenient, cost-effective, and high-quality. From our first meeting, we knew that there would be several critical ways we would work together to better connect patients to the care they need, and the Care Team feature was a natural first step to help patients," he said. 

He also emphasized how COVID has made such a partnership even more important, as both companies share the goal of improving the convenience and accessibility of care decisions. 

"COVID-19 has put in sharp relief how difficult it can be for patients to find and follow through on the care they need. We’ve seen more use cases and customers who recognize the importance of seamless and accurate information to inform care decisions as organizations work to improve health care experiences from a variety of different angles," said Maslak.

Ultimately, the goal for the partnership is to make it possible for more patients and caregivers to make important care decisions, "knowing that the advice from their doctor and critical information about providers is available to them at their fingertips."

"We’re proud to partner with Abridge as we continue to make medical conversations and care coordination simpler, more connected, and more reliable." 

This isn't the only partnership that Ribbon has unveiled this week: on Monday the company announced that it was working with employee benefits platform Bennie, with the goal of creating an integrated provider directory and search tool.

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