Healing Hands And Ai Minds: Icliniq’s Ceo Dhruv Suyamprakasam On Transformative Healthcare

by Jed Morley

iCliniq’s virtual online medical service provides convenient, premier health care to over 190 countries.

Welcome to our exclusive interview with Dhruv Suyamprakasam, the visionary force behind iCliniq. This dialogue unfolds the captivating narrative of Dhruv’s life, from his upbringing in Coimbatore, India, marked by a poignant terrorist attack, to the genesis of iCliniq as a global healthcare pioneer.

Dhruv’s journey is not merely a tale of entrepreneurship but a testament to resilience, empathy, and an unwavering commitment to transforming lives. As the founder, CEO, and director of iCliniq, Dhruv’s narrative unravels against the backdrop of familial inspiration and a deep-rooted belief in empathy as the cornerstone of customer relations.

In this exclusive interview, he provides a firsthand account of iCliniq’s metamorphosis from a telehealth startup to a vital global resource, serving over 190 countries. Dhruv also sheds light on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into iCliniq’s fabric, envisioning a future where technology harmonizes with human touch to redefine the landscape of accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare.

Join us as we embark on a journey through Dhruv Suyamprakasam’s unique insights, reflecting on the convergence of entrepreneurship, technology, and compassionate healthcare.

Name: Dhruv Suyamprakasam
Company: iCliniq

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Table of Contents

Dhruv Suyamprakasam

We Are Thrilled To Have You Join Us Today, Wel- Come To Our Magazine’s Exclusive Interview! Let’s Start Off With A Little Introduction. Tell Our Readers A Bit About Your- Self And Your Company.

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: Thank you for having me. My name is Dhruv Suyamprakasam and I am the founder, CEO and director of iCliniq. I was born and raised in Coimbatore, a city in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, where my father ran a factory and office.

My wife and I actually both grew up in South India and unfortunately experienced a traumatic terrorist attack in the 1990s. It hit my father’s factory and office and forever changed our perspectives.

That moment changed who I was and gave me a strong sense of empathy along with an urge to help others wherever I could. My inspiration to be an entrepreneur all started from my family, especially my father.

I was never involved in the typical extracurricular activities that other children my age were doing. My real interest was entrepreneurship. My father would come home from work and talk about all the ins and outs of business.

How to market your product, how to talk to customers, etc. One of my father’s specialties was customer relations. I would say that one of the biggest takeaways that I had from him was always being empathetic to your clients.

Fast forward to my adult life – with the help of my wife, Dr. Subha Jagannathan, BDS (now Chief Medical Officer, iCliniq) and lifelong mentor, Dr. Madhankumar, MBBS., MS Gen Surgery., DNB – we created iCliniq in 2012 with the goal of building a platform where patients can receive accessible, affordable and quality healthcare utilizing telehealth technology.

Beginning as a telehealth startup in India, I led iCliniq to become a leading global provider of virtual healthcare resources through strategic thinking and innovative ideas surrounding the use of technology in healthcare.

Together, we founded a company that aims to put people and their access to healthcare first and expands its reach through partnerships with major brands, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals.

iCliniq’s virtual online medical service provides convenient, premier health care to over 190 countries. iCliniq’s doctor panel consists of 4,300+ highly qualified doctors from 80+ specialties in the U.S., U.K., UAE, India, Singapore and Germany. We are now providing affordable access to primary care physicians via video and text all across the United States.

Dhruv Suyamprakasam

Can You Share With Us Your Journey Towards Integrating Ai Into Your Business Operations?

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: At iCliniq, we see technology as a way to progress in society and have always acknowledged the benefits that it can have on the healthcare industry. This perspective on technology did not change when we began to research more on AI.

First, we evaluated AI’s merits and potential risk factors before introducing it more broadly. Though some are scared of the potential power that it may yield, I personally see the potential it has to benefit physicians while also fixing some of the issues that exist within our healthcare system.

We came to the conclusion that AI is a tool that can be used in conjunction with human support to streamline some of iCliniq’s day-to-day tasks. It was found to be helpful when implemented into our business model – lessening the wait times of patients and handling the administrative tasks that doctors have to do, thus freeing up their valuable time.

This inspired our company-wide “AIas-an-Ally” approach. This mindset allows us to understand the ability of LLMs and other AI to enhance our working experience. Our iCliniq team views AI as a technology that can help to evolve our business model and client approach. As technology advances, it is always important to acknowledge both the limitations and the merits.

In healthcare, professionals must stay up to date on new technology that can be implemented into their practices. We recognize ChatGPT and other AI solutions as productivity enhancers for HCPs as well as brickand-mortar and virtual hospitals that want to use the technology.

In the healthcare industry, we believe there will always be a need for a human-first approach. Physicians still need to be heavily involved in the analysis of AI. However, AI can help relieve some of the administrative tasks and increase overall efficiency leaving physicians with more time to focus on patient care and medical research.

“In healthcare, professionals must stay up to date on new technology that can be implemented into their practices.”

What Specific Areas Of Your Business Have Been Most Impacted By Ai, And How?

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: At iCliniq, we are in the beginning phases of implementing AI-related solutions to help bring down our physicians’ response time. We are finding ways in which the necessary upfront administrative work is automatically updated and ready so that our skilled team of physicians can simply answer a patient’s medical inquiry in a timely manner.

According to Merritt Hawkins, physician wait times within the past year in 15 large metro markets had increased to an average wait of 26 days. For some patients, waiting this amount of time is simply not an option. With this in mind, our team is continuously thinking of ways to improve patient experience, and center them in their healthcare journeys.

At our company, we have also incorporated the use of our Smart Doctor tool, our virtual medical assistant prototype. The tool provides support to doctors by handling medical queries and providing coherent and precise explanations about health-related subjects. We are also currently working on a new product offering called HealthQuill.

Our goal with HealthQuill is to help patients better understand their health records and medical history. The tool uses AI technology to provide clear explanations by extracting relevant sections from the patient’s uploaded medical report. The idea is to help patients be medically informed about their ailments. This will bring efficiency to their virtual doctor visits and also in-person doctor visits.

Dhruv Suyamprakasam

What Are The Biggest Obstacles You’ve Faced In Implementing Ai, And How Did You Overcome Them?

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: The biggest area of opportunity our team faced when implementing AI, was perfecting the balance between human touch versus technology.

While we are very excited to have new technological advancements that can improve the experience for both patient and doctor, it’s important that we do not discount the power that humans have, especially in healthcare.

“It’s clear that those who do not begin to implement AI run the risk of being left behind.”

Technology needs to go through a trial and error phase before it can be consumer facing. Behind every technological innovation needs to be a human that can review its work and make sure it is accurate. This is how we will continue to approach AI at iCliniq.

What Advice Would You Give To Other Ceos Looking To Integrate Ai Into Their Business?

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: I would tell any CEO looking to integrate AI solutions into their business model to start by doing research and learning as much as possible about the technology.

This can only happen if you read. If you want to be current in the technology you use, keep yourself updated and plugged in on the latest happenings in the tech industry, the limitations that technology can have and how it can help you and your business. Technology always has to be relevant.

I am constantly asking myself, “Am I relevant today,” “Will I be relevant tomorrow,” “How can I stay relevant to different audiences and generations?” If you want to create technology to solve a problem, then these are the questions that you need to ask yourself.

In my opinion, no entrepreneur is a self-made person, myself included. We all have looked to someone for help. Ask co-founders, mentors, colleagues, members of your professional network, even employees to audit and review your business’ daily tasks.

Ask questions about what tasks they do take the most time, and compile information on what areas your company can be more efficient in. Take this and consider how AI can work with your employees to streamline their day-to-day processes.

How Do You See Ai Evolving In Your Industry Over The Next 5 Years?

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: I attended the 2023 HLTH conference where the main topic of discussion was all things AI in the healthcare industry. There are a lot of exciting conversations happening right now on how AI can be used for overall patient engagement solutions. Currently, AI has made its way into every industry and healthcare is no expectation.

It’s clear that those who do not begin to implement AI run the risk of being left behind. In the coming years, I believe that we will begin to see the growth of digital diagnostics with AI’s assistance as phone cameras become more advanced.

Using AI, photography and video chats, physicians will be able to gain a similar understanding of a patient’s condition without being in the same room as them. In turn, AI will be able to be used as a digital diagnostic tool.

For example, in dermatology, a patient could have the ability to take a photo of their skin and AI diagnostics could help in narrowing down a diagnosis of the skin condition.

What Does “success” Mean To You? It Could Be On A Personal Or Business Level, Please Share Your Vision.

Dhruv Suyamprakasam: This has been such an exciting year for me and iCliniq as a whole. There has been a lot of growth, changes and new opportunities. This year has been a great example of what success looks like for our team.

Beginning this year, we launched a new contextual advertising solution for pharmaceutical advertisers: iCliniq Engage. In a soon-to-be cookie-less world, many marketers are searching for an alternative to reach their target audiences.

iCliniq Engage’s telehealth advertising solutions enable pharmaceutical companies a precise way to target display and video ads on more than 50,000 pieces of original, medically reviewed, high-intent, contextually relevant health content pieces to reach its highly-engaged audience.

iCliniq Engage was also recently featured in PM360’s October Industry Brief. I was very excited to elevate my voice both on stage and in the media this year. I was a speaker at the National Telemedicine Summit in New Orleans, LA and gave a speech titled, “Importance of Cross Collaboration in Healthcare: How Global Partnerships Benefit the Industry & Help People From Different Places.”

I was able to impart knowledge on very influential people in the telehealth space. I was also interviewed and featured in Healthcare IT News and Healthcare Brew’s Making Rounds for my thoughts on technology and AI in the healthcare industry.

Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to WellnessVoice and the host of this interview would like to thank Dhruv Suyamprakasam for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.

If you would like to get in touch with Dhruv Suyamprakasam or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page

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