Ravi Sundararajan, Chief Operating Officer, Gupshup graced the 3rd Elets Healthcare Transformation Summit and shared his views on Conversational Healthcare – Revolutionizing the Healthcare Experience?. Edited excerpts from his talk.

Conversational Healthcare is transforming the way the industry is being able to engage with customers, on a much more interactive basis, stated Ravi Sundararajan, Chief Operating Officer, Gupshup. He averred that it’s not only healthcare, but various industries that changed with the onset of the pandemic. Once things became remote, the need for digital technologies became pertinent. Especially in the healthcare industry, there were a lot of things that were being driven by the back end including electronic records, tablet applications, and significant online support. Also, a substantial amount of remote patient monitoring voice enabled technologies used chatbots to engage people remotely.

He shared that the pandemic has forced things to go digital at a much faster rate. As bandwidth has become much cheaper even in India, it has permitted people to interact with their healthcare providers, doctors, or even other people down in the supply chain in a much more personalized and interactive way. He added that this has led to a rise in the expectations, summoning personalized and interactive healthcare leading to a rise of digital technologies. He expressed that there was a phase when websites came and changed the way of doing things, and then after 10-15 years came plenty of super apps such as Uber.

He added that there are a plethora of applications today such as WhatsApp, Twitter, and LinkedIn to interact with, but it’s not scalable. “There are some super apps but they will not solve all of our needs. Even if we have multiple healthcare providers we can’t have so many healthcare apps and also the web experience is a little bit old school. So it’s broken and there is a limitation to the patients and doctors’ digital savviness to deal with desktops and tablets,” stated Ravi Sundararajan.

He shared that in India, people skipped the use of desktops and laptops and went directly to mobile. He added that over 900 plus million people are using mobile phones of which the smartphones are close to about 550-600 million. “So there are a lot of people who access digital technologies through their phones, be it smartphones or even non-smartphones where we have minimal capabilities to do all these things. The engagement is on the mobile through the messaging apps and through messaging that is the core area where the customers are more engaged,” he shared. He also stated that the organisation had the biggest engagement in India followed by Latin America.

He averred that Conversational AI made it easy for doctors and patients to connect with each other on a personalized and interactive basis and that’s the beauty of having digital technology using conversational healthcare. He stated that AI has been integrated with diverse technologies. “We can clearly incorporate into a healthcare appointment scheduling system, a healthcare patient management system where people have their own healthcare videos system for a remote suite. We can interface with any of these things using common APIs and so we can plug into any of the systems that are there and create a whole conversational experience,” shared Ravi Sundararajan. “Conversational AI is the trend that is here to stay and this is the future of the healthcare industry,” he concluded.

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