With over one million YouTube subscribers and 500,000 registered users for its supplemental educational videos, Osmosis, which bills itself as the Khan Academy of healthcare, has raised $4 million in new funding.
“By reimagining medical education, Osmosis is addressing a critical impending global crisis: the need to develop and retrain tens of millions of healthcare professionals over the next decade to meet growing demand,” said Aydin Senkut, founder and managing partner at Felicis Ventures.
Felicis is betting on Osmosis in part because of the increasing demand for healthcare professionals around the world. The company cites statistics claiming that roughly 35 million more healthcare professionals will need to be trained by 2030.
Co-founders Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes met at medical school at Johns Hopkins. Both men had an interest in education and learning — Haynes as a former neuroscientist and Gaglani as a researcher who worked on education. And both struggled to keep up with the mass of material they were being forced to learn in their Gross Anatomy class.
“We wound up building a tool for ourselves and our classmates to collaborate and create flashcards for each other, and that was the seed for Osmosis,” Gaglani said in a March profile for a Harvard University alumni magazine. “We didn’t intend for it to be a company, we were just trying to make learning medicine more efficient.”
Since then, the company has grown from a side project and study aid for the two men to a legitimate business. The two began working on the business full time in 2016 and since then have managed to amass that 500,000 registered user base.
Instead of just a flashcard trading marketplace, the Osmosis platform now contains quizzes and videos using new study techniques like spaced-repetition to ensure knowledge retention.
The service also has a recommendation engine that provides contextually relevant video recommendations, quizzes, and flashcards based on course documents users can upload to the service.
Using a library of over 1,100 videos produced by the former Khan Academy Health and Medicine team — which were poached by Gaglani — students can get supplemental materials providing tutorials on subjects ranging from basic knowledge to the soft skills required on the job.
“When I think about talent, I think about people first. Shiv is a groundbreaking entrepreneur. Education as a whole, specifically medical education, needs to change to alleviate the financial burdens and massive debt that’s crushing young students across America. As these same students are digitally-native, they want convenient, cost-effective and personalized tools for learning, and Osmosis provides exactly that,” said Alan Patricof, Founder and Managing Director of Greycroft.
Gaglani has set itself a goal of educating more than one billion clin;icians and caregivers by 2025.
“We’ll be able to use the funds to increase our reach within our core health professional student markets as well as expand into related allied health fields,” Gaglani said in a statement.
As part of the company’s continuing initiatives, Osmosis is promoting something called Care for Caregivers, which is aiming to remove the stigma around mental illness in the medical industry and an interactive new feature allowing users to see who else is online and learning on Osmosis around the world at the same time.