Suki is a health tech startup focused on making doctors’ lives better. The company is two years old, our product has been commercially available for one year, and though we’re still early in our journey, we’ve learned a lot, had some great accomplishments, and are passionately committed to our mission of helping doctors. Here are 5 things you should know about Suki.
1. Doctors are at the center of everything we do.
Suki was started because our CEO, Punit Soni, spent six months shadowing physicians and witnessed first hand the enormous administrative burden placed on doctors. Physician burnout is at epidemic levels, with studies showing 50-70% of physicians experiencing some level of burnout. The primary reason is the electronic health record (EHR). Though the EHR has made clinical data more easily accessible and moved the medical community away from paper charts, it was not designed with doctors in mind. Coupled with numerous administrative, regulatory, and insurance requirements that need to be documented, doctors are spending inordinate amounts of time clicking items, typing notes, and doing duplicative work in the EHR. In fact, doctors spend two hours on EHR and desk work for every hour they spend on patient care.
Technology designed for the needs of doctors can help alleviate the burden. Our team is made up of technologists from places like Google, Apple, and Salesforce, as well as physicians from Stanford and UCSF. Our physician colleagues provide the crucial clinician perspective on the challenges our users face and what solutions are truly helpful. This diverse team helps us ensure every feature, program, touchpoint we develop delivers true value to doctors.
2. Suki is a digital assistant.
Suki currently helps doctors with one of their most time consuming tasks: completing their notes. Rather than clicking and typing in the EHR, doctors simply speak to Suki about their patient encounters. Using natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, Suki understands context and intent to create 100% accurate notes based on the doctor’s preferences. Suki integrates with EHR systems so it can push the approved note into the relevant sections of the EHR.
Suki is two years old and clinical documentation is its first skill, but many additional assistive capabilities are coming soon. We just launched our first information retrieval feature - now doctors can say “Suki, show me the patient’s medication list” and Suki will display this information. Retrieving other information, such as a patient’s allergy list, lab results, and problem list, is coming in the next few months. Later this year, Suki will be able to place orders. With a simple command such as “Suki, order my standard diabetic order set”, Suki will complete all the relevant sections for an order in the EHR. The doctor simply needs to sign off. Our goal is that using Suki is like having a resident working with the doctor, one who understands the doctor’s intent, knows the doctor’s preferences, and can complete administrative tasks accurately, with minimal instruction.
3. Suki helps doctors save time.
Time motion studies conducted with with users show that Suki has helped doctors drastically reduce the time they spend on notes. The average user was spending 13.6 minutes per note before Suki; with Suki, the time was reduced to 3.3 minutes per note - a 76% improvement. Suki is being used across dozens of specialties and has been proven to reduce documentation time in all. A few highlights:
Avg. min/note before Suki
Avg. min/note using Suki
Using Suki is also faster than other common note taking solutions available. Suki is 65% faster than the leading voice-to-text software (10.3 min/note before Suki to 3.6 min/note using Suki) and 87% faster than typing (25.0 min/note before Suki to 3.2 min/note using Suki).
4. Suki will get smarter over time.
Suki creates 100% accurate notes according to doctors’ preferences - our AI and machine learning technology picks up patterns in verbiage, note content by context, formatting, etc. and uses these patterns to not only create the note, but to improve as well. This information is fed back in to our machine learning algorithms to increase accuracy and sophistication. As doctors use Suki more, Suki will get faster, understand more, be able to perform tasks with less explicit instruction. In the future, Suki will be able to complete all its tasks through ambient listening, instead of via doctors’ direct commands. This is when Suki will become a true digital assistant - invisible, out of the doctor’s way, yet completing the relevant administrative tasks based on listening to doctors’ conversations.
5. Doctors across the country are using Suki.
Suki is privileged to be working with leading health systems such as Ascension, Unified Physician Management, and Sutter Health to help relieve the documentation burden for doctors around the country. Suki processes notes for thousands of patient encounters per week and is used in dozens of specialties. We often hear from doctors about how Suki has helped them, which is incredibly gratifying and motivating for us. Dr. Michael Miller, a family practitioner, said “I went and saw a play last night for the first time in a long time and I didn’t sweat it because I knew it was easy to get my notes done with Suki.” Dr. Cody Bogema, also in Family Practice, told us "Without it I could only see 5 patients a day. With Suki, I can easily see 20." Suki gives doctors time back so they can spend it on things they love doing - whether that’s spending more time with patients, with loved ones, or on activities they enjoy.
Suki has made great progress in the last two years: we are thrilled by the positive feedback from doctors and seeing the growth in the numbers of doctors using Suki. We are more excited than ever to enhance the product to provide even more value to our users and know that by keeping doctors at the center of everything we do, we can help make a positive difference in their lives.