Digital Assist: 5 North Texas Startups Making Their Mark With Artificial Intelligence

Digital Assist: 5 North Texas Startups Making Their Mark With Artificial Intelligence

AI startups across the U.S. raised a record $1.9 billion in VC funding during the first quarter of 2018. From marketing to health care, here's a look at North Texas companies disrupting industries with AI tech.

BY DAVID KIRKPATRICK • APR 25, 2018

Among the various leading-edge technologies impacting the business world — such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and virtual/augmented realities — AI is likely the best known to most people.

IBM has a long-running ad campaign including regular TV spots touting its Watson platform, AI is prominently featured in entertainment even beyond the science fiction genre, and anyone who has interacted with Siri on an iPhone or Alexa via an Amazon home assistant device has been in direct communication with an AI construct.

How hot is AI? Per a MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights, AI startups across the U.S. raised $1.9 billion in VC funding during the first quarter of 2018. That was a record amount for the segment and represented a 29 percent increase over the fourth quarter in 2017.

AI startups across the U.S. raised $1.9 billion in VC funding during the first quarter of 2018.

Artificial intelligence itself is a very broad term covering a wide range of tech, and by most definitions encompasses areas including expert systems, neural networks, natural language processing, fuzzy logic, and robotics. In practice, this can result in an application that quickly sorts and tags a huge amount of data while “learning” along the way and getting better at its task, such as image recognition. It can also be experienced when a digital assistant like Siri or Alexa “understands” a question you pose however you choose to frame the wording without having to conform to a preset command.

The North Texas area has no shortage of companies that are involved in AI in some capacity. Dallas-based RoboKind uses AI at the core of its robots that interact with and educate autistic children. RoboKind’s former Chief Information Officer Matt Stevenson left the company to become a deep learning and data science consultant and is currently working on developing a deep neural network for the Bina48 robot modeled on an actual person. In February, Texas-based Hypergiant announced its official launch as the self-described “office of machine intelligence for the Fortune 500.” 

Here’s a look at a cross-section of North Texas companies implementing AI:

DOCSYNK INC.

DocSynk is based in Irving and brings AI solutions across health care in three specific areas, including: population health management, revenue cycle management, and AI chatbots for patient care and patient engagement.

For population health management, DocSynk offers an AI-powered risk bundle that IDs patients at risk of chronic conditions and automatically recommends treatment and care management pathways. One example is identifying patients with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome in order to get those people on MDPP (Medicare Diabetes Prevention Plan) and dramatically reduce the expected cost of care for those patients.

It has an AI chatbot to manage care and engagement for cancer patients and provide a way for those people to handle operational and financial aspects of their care.

In the back office, DocSynk’s revenue cycle management AI platform automates key processes of contract and claims management to save both time and money. The company said it has demonstrated a 100 times performance improvement for large RCM (regulatory compliance mark) organizations for some processes in contract and claims management.

According to DocSynk, it has just scratched the surface of the potential for AI applications in health care with the next step being uncovering specific use cases that deliver clinical, financial, or operational value to patients and health care organizations. Some areas to watch, according to the company, include human-AI interaction through solutions like DocSynk’s chatbot, cancer immunotherapy breakthroughs enabled by AI, and the mainstreaming of AI in the business side of health care in the next five years.

joseph alexander

Chief Executive Officer of The Uptown Agency