Forta Secures $55M Funding to Revolutionize Autism Therapy with AI

Forta Secures $55M Funding to Revolutionize Autism Therapy with AI

San Francisco-based AI healthcare company Forta has successfully raised $55 million in a Series A funding round, signaling a significant milestone in its mission to enhance access to reliable and quality care. The funding round was spearheaded by Insight Partners, with additional contributions from Exor Ventures, Alumni Ventures, and influential figures behind companies such as 23&Me, Curative, Forward, Flexport, Warby Parker, Prelude Fertility, Harry’s, and Allbirds.

Forta, led by CEO Ritankar Das, is at the forefront of leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence, including large language models (LLM), to introduce innovative and compassionate care models. The company focuses on evidence-based practices to achieve better outcomes for patients, particularly in the realm of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) therapy.

The primary initiative involves expanding Forta’s family-powered applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, which combines AI-enabled ABA therapy with clinical algorithms. This expansion aims to meet the rising demand for autism and intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services, addressing the current shortage of clinicians and increasing wait times.

Source: Forta

Forta’s unique approach involves a parent-led therapy model, requiring interested parents to undergo a free 50-hour training course, pass a competency assessment, and, depending on their location and plan, obtain certification as a behavior technician. Subsequently, parents actively contribute to developing and implementing a therapy plan for their child, with Forta providing compensation for structured learning time.

Ritankar Das expressed the motivation behind Forta’s approach, stating, “Our current healthcare system is not able to provide dependable and quality care to families when they need it.” The company is exploring opportunities to extend its empowered home caregiver model beyond autism therapy, including areas such as memory care and other chronic conditions.

Forta’s impact is already notable, with parents in 45 states eligible to participate in the program. The therapy aims to reduce tantrums, enhance communication, and assist in achieving developmental goals for children with autism spectrum disorder. Within a short period since its launch in 2022, Forta has supported hundreds of families nationwide, garnering positive results.

A peer-reviewed study assessing the Forta model demonstrated significant improvements, with three-quarters of 25 pediatric patients achieving therapy goals more effectively. The company has established collaborations with seven major health insurance companies and over two dozen state government programs to bring its technology to a broader client base.

Scott Barclay, Managing Director at Insight Partners, emphasized the importance of Forta’s work, stating, “Children’s zip codes or parents’ income shouldn’t determine access to proven therapy.” Insight Partners is proud to support Forta’s researchers as they continue their impactful work in creating scalable and empathetic solutions for healthcare challenges.

Source: FortaHealth

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