Artifical Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based voice technology solutions provider for healthcare sector, Suki says it will double its India headcount in the next 12 months. Suki, started by Punit Singh Soni, a Google and Flipkart veteran, has a team of physicians, engineers, and technologists who create solutions to ease the administrative burden on doctors and clinicians in primarily the US and larger North American market.
Suki’s flagship product is the Suki AI Assistant. It also offers proprietary voice platform Suki Speech Service (S3, to partners who want to create a best-in-class voice experience for their solutions. Soni told BusinessLine, “clinicians, doctors, nurses are burning out across the world because of a combination of events, including as seen during the pandemic. The doctor to patient ratio is actually quite significant and it’s actually becoming worse day by day across all countries. Also, there is a lot of regulatory burden that’s been slowly and steadily added to the doctor’s life which is creating much more administrative work than clinical work, which is what they weren’t trained to do. This is where Suki helps.”
Stating that voice is the next mainstream user interface of technology, Soni said using voice will be as common as mobile interfaces. , Healthcare is very repeatable, as it’s got a very constrained ontology. “The words that are used in healthcare are very specific and unique and these doctors are quite professional, very structured in the way they approach these things. So therefore, if you can build a voice solution for them, that helps or source their administrative burden, it becomes the entry point to actually changing the complexion of all healthcare technology per se and our accuracy is 98-99 per cent,” he added.
The Suki assistant is very similar to a Siri on an iPhone, Google Assistant or Alexa but much more narrowly and deeply focused on the healthcare sector. “We have to be very, very highly efficient and accurate for healthcare. We ended up actually building a medically tuned speech recognition system, a medically tuned command, understander or intent recognizer. Our goal is to make healthcare, tech, assistive and invisible,” says Soni. Suki Assistant users can download the app and use it and in the case Suki speech platform, other healthcare tech companies can use to add voice to their workflows. Both are based on subscription models for revenue and enterprises - like Philips which is a Suki user - can opt for licenses.
With healthcare and records in India getting digitised, Soni says the market is ripe. “With Ayushman Bharat, some of the digitisation efforts are starting in India. I believe in the next 2-3 years, what UPI did to fintech is what’s gonna happen in healthcare tech. And once that happens, India will become probably one of the most relevant healthcare markets in the world. We want to make sure that India actually ends up having open APIs where there is interoperability of healthcare data, where everybody at an individual level has access and ownership of their own health records and which are connected to UPI like other systems, so that people can actually give permission for systems to actually use it. And those APIs allow proper interoperability between different products that are built on top of it. US does not have this”
While Suki currently has 50 plus people in Bengaluru office, Soni says “we intend to double over the course of this year mostly AI, ML engineers, mobile app engineers, some product, customer support and operations personnel.”