Digital Healthcare Has Become A Basic Need For Both Patients & Doctors: Ramya Subramanian
In an exclusive conversation with BW Healthcareworld, Ramya Subramanian, Co-founder, Docty, speaks about the new wave of digital healthcare brought about by the pandemic and the innovations that the company is coming up with. Excerpts:
Tell us about Docty. What problems is it trying to solve?
Docty is a global digital healthcare platform offering patient-centric services through a complete set of geo-located digital solutions. It eliminates care fragmentation and addresses societal health disparity by making healthcare solutions accessible to one and all, while also maintaining top-notch quality. The brand’s vision is to create the largest possible digital healthcare ecosystem that addresses some of the major challenges patients face with respect to healthcare. Docty deploys Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics to accelerate healthcare coordination and reduce data fragmentation and patient risk management.
During the critical times when the outrage of the pandemic became severe, patients started facing various obstacles in their attempt to book a doctor's appointment. This gave us a solid reason to consolidate a platform that solves the three biggest problems of medical care i.e., fragmented care, limited resources, and long wait times. Some of the other problems Docty’s ecosystem addresses are High Costs, Limited Services x Remote patients, Low Patient Adherence, Low ROI, High TCO, Long waiting times, Congested ER facilities, Low Customer Satisfaction, Interoperability, Fragmentation of Care and Patient Risk Management, to name a few.
Do you think this digital healthcare wave will stay even after the pandemic?
While people in metropolitan cities were mindful of the digital healthcare applications even before the pandemic, it's unfortunate that COVID-19 has proven to be the actual reason for this boost in the industry. During the testing times, people vastly explored the digital healthcare space. From general checkups to consultation for acute diseases, telehealth proved to be the rescuer, helping people across the country with health-related hardships.
Constantly evolving, digital healthcare has now become a basic need for both patients and doctors. Hereon, this healthcare wave will only lead to a rising number of new innovations that will ensure that it is here to stay.
How do you plan to penetrate a market where individuals are largely dependent on over-the-counter healthcare, especially in rural areas?
Docty's business model is designed to address this healthcare disparity in each regional market because it democratizes the availability and accessibility of cost-efficient quality healthcare, particularly for traditionally underserved markets. With features like 'low-bandwidth video consultation', Docty enables individuals from poor-connectivity regions to avail the benefits of telehealth.
Access anytime, anywhere – this is the vision and mission of Docty. Our vision is to create the world’s largest Digital Healthcare Ecosystem which will include patients, doctors, nurses, clinics, labs, pharmacies, hospitals, insurance providers as well as government to go beyond the pill, offering a patient-centric solution through cross-industry and enterprise collaboration.
Our Interactive ecosystem connects patients and their family members to clinics, hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to enhance medical consultation. We use Artificial Intelligence and Analytics to enrich the experience eliminating the care fragmentation problem and securely facilitating risk management healthcare access and quality to all. We aim to Democratize healthcare access and quality to all.
With the increasing digital disruptions in healthcare management, do you think data security and privacy are a concern? What is Docty doing to ensure data security for its users?
AI certainly increases the risks of a data breach. Not only such mishaps are a threat to the users' privacy, they also bring heavy financial losses. According to a recent report by IBM, breaches cost companies an average of $4.24 million per incident. Docty has been one of the early adopters of IoMT along with the AI component integrated into its platform. Being conscious of the potential security threats, the platform adheres to HL7 security standards and maintains end-to-end encryption throughout. Owing to our secure and patient-first approach, we have noticed an increase in the number of patients using Docty for areas like physiotherapy, gynecology, and psychiatry, especially during pandemic times.
Docty’s Digital Health platform encompasses the entire ecosystem of patients, doctors, pharmacies, clinics - all while staying patient-centric.
How do you integrate AI in your app? Do you plan to introduce any new features especially for Indian users?
Docty uses Artificial Intelligence to provide data-driven insights and improve clinical diagnosis. There are tools like 'Docty Symptom Checker' that interpret patients’ emotions through facial recognition to assist doctors in their diagnosis and endeavour to drive behaviours for improved outcomes. We have put together human intelligence with artificial intelligence to create a healthcare system that releases the burden of doctors from administrative tasks and promotes precise diagnosis.
Complimenting the efforts of doctors, AI-enabled care helps to define and decide treatment regimes for patients suffering from complex diseases. The databases generated out of the entire health tech system have the potential to form the foundation of predictive healthcare soon.
The platform is ever-evolving to ensure it is customized to every specific geolocation. A whole team has been dedicated to R&D to ensure that Docty addresses as many innovative features as possible to tap the needs of every distinct market.
Care-fragmentation is a major challenge in healthcare management. What solution is Docty providing to eliminate or reduce it?
The year 2020-21 constantly challenged the healthcare industry with rising healthcare costs and unsatisfied virtual consultations. In a country like India, where the doctor-patient ratio is 1:1000, it becomes a tedious task to look after all the problems of the patients at the time of a global pandemic.
In order to surpass this provocation, the global telehealth startup 'Docty' started in 2018 with a vision to enable people to access quality healthcare - anywhere, anytime. Docty is a global company (Colombia, India and South Africa) that integrates tools like Emotion Index, Family History Management, Portable Lab Stations, Operational Efficiency, Clinic/Hospital Monitoring System and Marketing tools, Integrated Wearable devices combined with Data Safety, Geolocation readiness and Interoperability. These tools are designed to reduce care fragmentation and best enable healthcare access to all.