Punit Soni’s Healthtech Startup Suki Raises $20 Mn Funding From Venrock, First Round, Social Capital

AI enabled healthtech startup Suki (formerly called Robin), founded by ex-CPO of Flipkart Punit Soni has raised $20 Mn led by Venrock, First Round, Social Capital, as well as individual Googlers and other angels including Nat Turner of Flatiron Health, and Marc Benioff (CEO of Salesforce).
 
“The $20 Mn in funding comes from a Series A of $15 Mn that was led by Venrock,” the company said in a media statement. With the latest funding, the healthtech startup plans to fuel its artificial intelligence-powered, voice-enabled digital assistant for doctors.
 
Commenting on the product, Punit Soni, co-founder of Suki, said, “AI is changing the world around us, and it’s about time that it does the same for health care. With Suki, we have created a solution that is personalised to each doctor, inexpensively scalable, and easy to implement to make your work day easier. It’s like having an assistant in the exam room with you who knows how you practice.”
 
With 12 active pilots within internal medicine, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, and plastic surgery practices in California and Georgia, Suki not only improves the accuracy of the data it captures, over time, it can search and retrieve patient data like imaging files. Additionally, it will be able to distill a doctor’s conversation with a patient into an actionable plan, based on the doctor’s known preferences and clinical practice guidelines.
Talking about Suki, Qammer Bokhari, MD, chief medical information officer at Adventist Health System, and a Suki investor, said, “There is so much potential in the data collected in EHRs, but what we need to do is make it easier for doctors to input that data without having to outsource a legion of scribes or buy dictation software that isn’t intelligent. Suki solves that problem.”
In its pilot projects, Suki is used five days per week across three different EHR systems – with preliminary results showing Suki cuts the amount of time physicians spend on medical notes up to 60 percent – leading to better notes and happier doctors.
 
By way of comparison, on average, for every hour of direct clinical facetime with a patient, physicians spend nearly two additional hours on medical paperwork.
 
Suki was founded by Punit Soni (former executive at Google, Motorola, and Flipkart) and Karthik Rajan (previously led infrastructure at Oracle and Salesforce) and is led by technologists and clinicians.
 
During an Inc42 Facebook Live AMA, Punit Soni had shared that “The high level of vision behind the company is to reimagine health stack using machine learning and voice. And move it away from the crap software of the 90s which most of it is running on.”
 
The global healthcare IT market is anticipated to reach $104.5 Bn by 2020, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.
 
Some of the major players in the space are Innovaccer, Zoctr, Lybrate, and Tricog, trying to vie for the Indian healthcare market will rise to $280 Bn by 2020, from the current $100 Bn, as per a report by IBEF.
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