Suki’s mission is to make assisted health technology invisible: Nitin Gupta

Mr. Nitin Gupta, India Manager, Sukirecently spoke with CXOToday on the challenges we face in integrating AI/ML in healthcare and how data privacy plays an important role in managing healthcare data to create a national digital healthcare infrastructure and an open network for healthcare exchange of data between different providers and users. He also discusses in detail Suki’s support for bridging the technology gap in healthcare using AI/ML.

  1. Overview of the Indian healthcare ecosystem and its technological infrastructure ?

“According to Nasscom, India’s healthcare sector is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022 (a CAGR of over 16%)”. Although the sector has grown considerably in recent years, significant challenges remain to increase coverage and quality of care.

These challenges include:

  • In a diverse and vast country like India, accessibility to remote areas is very difficult
  • There is a bad doctor to patient ratio of 1:1500
  • Lack of standardization of operating procedures, skill requirements, and regulations leads to variability in care and increases risk of misdiagnosis
  • Low insurance penetration rate of only around 20% in our population

While trying to address these issues, healthcare organizations in India today struggle to maintain a balance between 3 interrelated factors i.e. cost, accessibility and quality which are at odds with each other. others. For example, initiatives aimed at improving the quality of care are often expensive and accessible to a few people.

However, AI-driven healthcare technology solutions have the potential to deliver high-quality care at lower cost and accessibility. For example, remote monitoring can help more patients get high-quality care and ultimately help reduce costs by reducing complications.

Moreover, while there is active innovation in the sector today (NASSCOM recently reported that around 18% of all AI patents filed in India are from healthcare); One of the biggest challenges facing the ecosystem is the lack of an AI community that specializes in healthcare. Therefore, there is no cohesive learning, case studies or best practices that can be adopted and learned from. There is a shortage of qualified mentors who understand both healthcare and technology capabilities. Additionally, AI research specifically focused on healthcare in academic institutions that can help the broader ecosystem is very minimal. Entrepreneurs have to fall back on trial and error when working in the industry, which is not optimal given the importance of health care for every individual. In fact, at Suki, we are evaluating how we can work in collaboration with some of the leading academic institutions in India to propel more AI-driven research in healthcare.

  1. How is health data created and used? How does data privacy play an important role in health data management?

Data in healthcare systems still exists in silos and adds friction and duplicate work for clinicians. For example, nurses spend a lot of time entering device data into the EHR. Allowing this data to flow automatically to the relevant systems would be a huge benefit that technological intervention can bring.

The healthcare industry is very complex as it brings together many varied players such as hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, retail, medical devices, diagnostic centers, monitoring centers, insurance companies, etc And while they can all benefit significantly by collaborating and sharing data with each other to achieve the best results, very little focus is on the same ones because they don’t see the immediate value.

Another challenge is that the solutions and models generated by AI are generally difficult to explain and there is a lack of understanding about what is possible when it comes to AI. Therefore, it is difficult for stakeholders to see the value of data sharing which can lead to more beneficial AI-based solutions and one of the main reasons is data privacy requirements.

Healthcare is a highly regulated field because patient health information data is among the most sensitive types of data. Healthcare organizations are at risk of significant criminal charges, fines and loss of reputation in the event of a data breach. There are therefore significant barriers to data sharing. This also applies to developed markets. The US healthcare system has seen massive adoption of EHRs and other technology solutions, but interoperability remains a challenge.

In order to overcome these challenges, it is necessary to build strategic alliances and win-win partnerships between healthcare organizations and technology providers, so that they can come together to realize the full potential of healthcare technology solutions. AI-driven healthcare. Government initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat’s digital mission are expected to help, where it is planned to create a national digital health infrastructure and an open network for exchanging data between different providers and users.

  1. How is Suki bridging the technology gap in healthcare with AI/ML?

Suki is working to solve one of the biggest global problems in the healthcare industry: physician burnout. Physicians and other healthcare professionals today face an enormous administrative burden when it comes to tasks such as clinical documentation, entering orders for medications or lab tests, responding to patient messages , etc., where they spend two hours on these tasks for every hour spent on the patient. care.

Suki’s mission is to make assisted health technology invisible, easing the administrative burden on doctors so they can focus on what they love to do, which is caring for patients. We believe voice is a more natural and faster way to interact, and voice solutions can help clinicians complete their tasks faster and easier. And keeping that at the heart of what we do, we’ve developed our AI-enabled digital voice assistant, which leverages the latest speech technologies and advanced natural language processing algorithms. With this, physicians speak naturally to accomplish tedious administrative tasks, such as clinical documentation or extracting information from the EHR.

We also offer our proprietary voice platform, Suki Speech Platform, to healthcare partners who want to create a best-in-class voice experience for their own solutions. In this way, we stay true to our mission to make assisted health technology invisible through our partner solutions as well.

  1. Challenges Suki Faced and Steps Taken to Overcome Them

There have been several major challenges throughout the journey and growth. The first challenge was to really understand the issues and pain points that our users are facing. The culture of healthcare clinicians is very different from that of technologists, so empathy towards clients is very important. One of the ways we have solved this problem is by making medical practitioners an integral part of our team. The other way we instill customer focus is by making customer visits and interactions a top priority for everyone in the company, so they can directly understand clinicians’ issues and concerns.

The second challenge is that healthcare is a conservative, slow-moving industry that is somewhat at odds with startup culture, which moves quickly and typically operates within shorter time horizons. Building a healthcare startup requires a team that understands our vision, takes a longer-term view of what we’re building and trying to accomplish, and has the patience to endure long sales cycles. We reinforce this with our team on an ongoing basis.

Finally, another key challenge is to create a culture that is high performing and fun through the ups and downs of startup life, where the team is empowered to perform at their best, scale with agility and scale in his career. In the end, it’s about the people and if they can find a great environment, they can thrive and accomplish anything. We have a well-defined set of corporate values ​​and we ensure that, from the hiring process to the regular day-to-day work, employees continuously showcase these values.

  1. The future of technology integration in healthcare and Suki’s future map to contribute to technological advancements in the global healthcare ecosystem?

Suki aspires to help every doctor, clinician, practice and healthcare system around the world with their administrative burden. We are rapidly expanding our user base and focusing on growing our footprint. To do this, it is essential to increase the capabilities of our solutions.

Suki Assistant will continue to expand its capabilities to include other administrative tasks, such as invoicing and ordering. Our goal is to make Suki a true digital assistant that can help with any administrative task a clinician might have to do. With the Suki Speech Platform, we have huge opportunities ahead of us in terms of enabling voice experiences across a variety of use cases that our partners offer. We will continue to expand our partner base and strive to build the Suki brand as a voice analog in healthcare.

While most of our market is currently in the United States, India is also proving to be a very exciting market. With increased digitization of healthcare through government initiatives such as the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, we believe that Suki will be able to add tremendous value in the lives of doctors and healthcare professionals in India. We expect India to be an important market for us in the years to come. Meanwhile, the Suki India team will continue to grow and provide a global platform for tech talent in India to solve some of the most relevant and challenging issues in healthcare across the globe.

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