Every Pixel is in the Service of the Doctor

March 22, 2022 Matt Pallakoff

Five years ago, after months shadowing physicians and researching healthcare-technology opportunities, and with support from legendary VC firm Venrock, Punit Soni officially launched the startup now known as Suki AI.

I was fortunate to join Suki a few weeks later as head of product design. (Punit likes to say, “Matt just kept showing up, so we had to hire him.”)

Initially, the team worked in a small office at Venrock – Punit, CTO Karthik Rajan, COO Dr. Nathan Gunn, a few engineers, and Dr. Erin Palm, who would soon join as Director of Product (right after completing her fellowship in surgical critical care). Our main design tool was a big whiteboard. 

The team’s passion for putting doctors at the center of what we do was obvious from day one.

Front-line physicians devote their lives to patient care, but in recent years a depressingly large and growing percentage of their workdays, nights, and weekends has been consumed by data entry tasks – a major contributor to physician burnout.

Suki’s goal is to provide a voice-enabled digital assistant that relieves most of that burden, so doctors can once again focus on patient care, while creating higher-quality documentation. 

Five years into this journey, the team’s passion for putting doctors first has only grown. Suki has built amazing physician-obsessed customer service, operations, sales, marketing, G&A, security, IT, clinical, and product teams. 

Even our company offsites (in addition to being a lot of fun) are largely about building a culture that keeps “every pixel in the service of the doctor.”

We are working in a complex domain, and by healthcare-tech standards, we are still early stage. We are continuously learning how Suki can better serve doctors. 

But we know we’re on the right path when the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) declares Suki to be an “Essential Innovation” (after their Phase 2 study showed a 72% reduction in primary care physician’s median documentation time per note when using Suki) – and when we hear from doctors about Suki’s impact:

"Terrific product. It has been a game-changer for me. For the first time, I had lunch. It's been a very long time since I've had lunch during working hours."
- Dr. B, Family Practice

“You guys are dead on with this thing. For the first time ever I left work on time last week with no notes to do. And my notes are so much more comprehensive that it blows my mind.”
- Dr. S, Gastroenterology

“I wanted to call to tell you that Suki changed my life. This is a big thank you on helping me practice medicine instead of dealing with the EMR.”
- Dr. W, Plastic Surgery

“Suki saves me hours of work every day.”
- Dr. W, Cardiology

In many ways, we are just getting started, and I am excited about the next five years.

About the Author

Matt Pallakoff

Matt Pallakoff is VP of Product Design at Suki. He has over 20 years’ experience helping create software, services, and devices enjoyed by millions of people. He is passionate about designing new interaction approaches that radically simplify tasks.

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