Syllable raises $40 million to automate health system call centers

Steven Loeb · April 25, 2022 · Short URL:

The company can connect patients with providers, schedule appointments, and fill represcriptions

Despite all the advances in technology that health systems have incorporated in recent years, their websites and patient portals are still difficult to navigate. Unlike other areas of healthcare, they aren't automated or supported by software to make them easy to use.

"U.S. citizens and their families experience a very poor customer experience in what is the most important service they will ever need," Kobus Jooste, CEO of Syllable, said in an interview.  

"Due to staffing issues in healthcare, healthcare contact centers have long call-hold times, rerouted or dropped calls and dead ends all contribute to a frustrating patient experience and make it cumbersome to access vital care quickly."

The company uses artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, and digital tools to streamline and automate healthcare administration tasks such as connecting with providers, scheduling appointments, specialty referrals, and refilling a prescription.

On Monday, Syllable announced a $40 Million Series C funding round led by TCV with participation from existing investors Oak HC/FT, Section32 and Verily.

The funding will will be used to further develop its main solution, the Syllable Patient Assistant, which greets calls within seconds and guides patients through a conversational workflow to get to the next step in their healthcare journey. 

The Patient Assistant helps eliminate wait and hold times, and reduce abandoned calls; enables overflow calls during high volume periods, such as nights and weekends; reduces volume for redundant call center functions; activates patient self-service for high volume call types; responds to outbound text message campaigns; and improves the routing performance of your call center with our artificially intelligent transfer capability.

Along with its main product, Syllable launched a COVID-19 Assistant in March 2020, which Jooste says was the first AI assistant on the market to help health systems deploy automated solutions to address all the extra pandemic-related patient queries.

"We extended the assistant to support vaccine distribution, including outbound voice, and SMS awareness and patient outreach campaigns," he explained.

"For healthcare providers and healthcare systems alike, the pandemic proved to be a very challenging time. Call volumes increased overnight, and urgent patient inquiries escalated. It was a perfect storm that served to shine a spotlight on a long-standing problem: the need for automated solutions to simplify the process for patients to get access to care."

Syllable works with health systems such as Houston Methodist, and is currently the primary phone automation platform for New York-Presbytrian's 10 hospital campuses as well as medical practices.

"Syllable is dedicated to work with health systems in the U.S. to make access to care more inclusive and more approachable for all Americans. Syllable works with metropolitan and rural populations of non-English speakers and patients without commercial insurance who utilize Medicare or Medicaid," said. Joost 

With it's solution, Syllable delivers 2x to 5x return on investment for hospitals and practice call center operations. For example, the company helped Houston Methodist be ranked number one in the state of Texas in vaccine delivery by resolving more than 90% of calls received at Houston Methodist by the health system's COVID-19 vaccine hotline via automated and self-service workflows. 

"Syllable’s mission is to improve the patient experience by using artificial intelligence to identify opportunities to improve the patient experience through automation."

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes