This session leads with a discussion on the importance of holding on to one's ideals when embarking on a career; the need to remain curious as an important career life-skill while the future grows more complex and uncertain; and an exhortation to students to use their generation's technologies to do good in the world.
Forrest and his team will then take questions from the audience.
Indranil Roychowdhury: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Indranil Roychowdhury. I'm a proud parent of Reyansh and Rysha. Both students here at the United World College here in Singapore.
And I'm also the founder and CEO of Docquity which is Asia's largest doctors only professional network. You can think about us like the LinkedIn for doctors, but when we started back in 2016, we were guided by one goal, which was to bring doctors
globally across multiple countries with various degrees of specialisations into one common platform to be able to share experiences with peers and learning from each other's experience.
And that leads me straight into this topic, which is extremely near and extremely personal for me. On how technology led peer to peer learning and experience sharing is saving lives.
Now, before I would like before I would begin, you know, I like to really thank the UWC team
for providing me with this opportunity to share our story. And I'm available to answer any questions that you may have throughout the session.
In today's session, I want to talk about the journey the stories from which we have learned the stories that keep on inspiring us and the stories that keep on guiding us to get to the goal that we have set to ourselves as a company.
And to begin this, I want to take you back to 23rd June 2011. This is the story of my father. My father was in New Delhi at that time, and he was rushed into the hospital after experiencing rapidly dropping blood pressure and chest pain.
A senior doctor examined his systems, his symptoms and diagnosed that it was a very,
very serious cardiac issue. He announced back to my family that my father just had a couple of hours to live
Now, another doctor in that same room was tasked to look at him during these critical hours. This doctor a much younger cardiologist, was not about to call it quits. He called one of his peers in the U.S., maybe alumni a classmate I'm not really sure about that to be able to garner a second opinion.
And after that hurried phone call, he beckoned the nurse to immediately pump in a specific medication intravenously and in large quantity into the feeding patient.
And that injection that instruction by the doctor slowly revived my father, who lived on for another six years before passing away in 2017
But what that cardiologist didn't know at that time was that the very next day, 24 June 2011 here in Singapore, my wife was giving birth to our first child, Reyansh.
So that phone call that the doctor did for the second opinion not only saved my father's life. That phone call ensured that my children, Reyansh and Rysha got to know and play with their grandparents.
That phone call was a major difference for my father and for the entire family. It was the difference between an unfulfilled and a fulfilled life.
Now, this is an experience that would stay with me forever. It was an experience which was one of satisfaction. But on the other hand, it was really frustrating to have been imagined that it was a phone. It took a phone call between two doctors to save a life
We are in the world of technology today. We can replace that phone call. It was not just about replacing that phone call. It was about getting that information that was discussed within that particular phone call to all doctors in the world so that no other patient would have to go through that same situation. No other family would have to go through the same situation that we actually did if that phone call didn't happen.
As I said, it was the major difference between an unfulfilled and a fulfilled life. So replacing that phone call became our objective But when we started to research more about on this problem, there were some really, really shocking revelations.
Now, let me ask you a question. Can you name the top three diseases in the world which is causing the most number of deaths today?
And I asked this question a lot in my discussions because, never, ever do I get the right answer. Do you know that medical errors and misdiagnosis is the third largest contributing reason for patient's death?
This is a major problem.
Here is another story.
One of my relatives was coming from a Tier 3 city in India was facing a very typical symptom of headache. It was a continuing headache, which was lingering around for hours and hours
So they took him to the local doctor. A local doctor there gave him just a painkiller, saying it's probably nothing. Take the painkiller and you'll be okay.
The pain did not go away.
Then they took him to another city about 100–150 kilometers away from their hometown. To another doctor. Even that doctor gave him a painkiller, saying it's probably nothing but the pain did not go away.
After multiple discussions internally, they took a call. The family took a call to take him to New Delhi, named one of the top hospitals in New Delhi and one of the top hospitals in India where he was diagnosed as to having brain stroke.
And I'm talking about one person in a country of over a billion people living in a Tier 3
city having to go through this. If the family wouldn't have taken the discussion, I wouldn't have had that discussion to take him to New Delhi and get it diagnosed. The outcome
may have been completely different.
Think about it.
Only 34% of the overall population in India lives in the major metropolitan cities. This means that there are close to 750 million people who are not living in this major cities and those who are potentially at risk to this major problem.
Now, is this a localised problem? No. The data that I'm showing you here on the slide that one out of every 20 adult patients diagnosed are misdiagnosed every year. This is U.S. data.
It's a similar story across all countries in all growing economies Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand. And the question that we were asking ourselves was really, why is this happening?
Every doctor is going through the same. Every doctor is going through the same education. They are learning through the same materials. Why was this really happening? And then we started to dig, dig deeper.
We started to get to an analysis that today in this in this world of technology, information is everywhere. There are over 200,000 medical journals know which is which is published
every year all around the world. There is Google, of course. And you can argue that everybody has the access to the same information in today's connected world.
However, think about this as a situation. This is a fact. It was presented in one of the reports
I was going through by one of the major consulting companies where they said that more than 70% of the cancer patients in Indonesia who are either dying or are facing financial distress within 12 months of diagnosis.
This is a major social and commercial challenge for the patients and their families.
Think about why is this happening in Indonesia in a country like Indonesia? There are about 250 oncologists, cancer specialists, for a country of over 240 million people. Now that's less than 0.001 oncologist per thousand patients Most patients first get an access to a primary care physician or a general practitioner. And then after a long period of time when the condition really worsens and because of this lack of availability, of this lack of all of these cancers specialists don't they don't get an access to these doctors until it's already very late.
Now, delay diagnosis is another form of misdiagnosis. Why do you think this is happening? Because many primary care physicians may not be looking at the patient with the same lens
as an experienced oncologist would. It's how healthcare is structured around the world.
Now think of another scenario.
What if there was a primary care physician and an oncologist network a peer to peer doctor and a GP and a specialist network? What if a primary care physician could learn from the oncologist about what they need to look out for, for cancer diagnosis at an early stage?
What if they could immediately discuss a patient case when that patient was sitting with the primary physician a primary care physician?
Think about how healthcare can be rapidly reorganised by just being able to share experiences by just being able to share knowledge among peers. Think about how you can better the outcomes for the patient early on and not let them go into financial distress or an early death.
Think about the reverse scenario. Take an example of Singapore.
So many cancer patients around the world are coming to Singapore to get their treatments done. They're coming from all over Southeast Asia and Indonesia and even from Indonesia. However, they still have to go back to their home countries. They can't stay in Singapore forever. And cancer in general is not a one time treatment
Their primary care physician where the local doctor can take to peer opinion from a leading Singaporean oncologist and discuss the progress of this patient on a regular basis.
Think about how peer to peer experiences and exchanges can impact the life of the patients and families if they're not in close proximity with these leading specialists today
That is the impact.
What a peer to peer networking can actually do and the outcomes that it can drive for a particular patient and their families.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the beautiful island cluster of Maluku. The Maluku Islands in Indonesia. And let's see this geography in some little bit more detail.
Now, this is a cluster of multiple islands. There's about 850,000 square metres. But 90% of this is sea. The island cluster has about 2 million patients When you start to look at the healthcare scenario, there's just one healthcare professional for every 7289 patients.
And when you get down to this into the details, these are not just the not all the HCPs are doctors. There's nurses, there's midwives, there's so much more. When you come down to the specialists, it's just 23 specialists. In the entire island cluster. And many people and many people really have to and this was one of the experiences that was shared that people have to take a boat ride to visit a specialist doctor into the mainland country.
How can peer to peer network and how can a peer to peer network solve this problem for these 2 million patients in the in this beautiful island country?
And this is exactly what Docquity's doing now.
Instead of the patient going to a specialist after taking that boat ride, we bring the specialists to the patient the general, the general practitioners and the specialists discuss these kind of discuss these kinds of cases on an ongoing basis on a digital platform.
And they seek to solve the problems and identify the problems with the patients much early on.
Another case that we saw that is when the patient was visiting a local doctor. The local doctor will pick a specialist from in from Jakarta City into a video conference on an application and jointly discuss on the call along with the patient.
This is just an expansion. This is just an extension of the peer to peer network and transitioning this into a doctor to doctor to patient network the outcome that the patient problems get identified and it gets diagnosed much earlier
The other angle that we are looking at was really about P2P crowdsourcing. We take extreme measures to ensure that every single user on the platform is a verified doctor.
Now, doctors can crowdsource these opinions from peers who are other doctors
and see what the most of the doctors are actually thinking about.
Now, this is not about recommending to doctors, not about prescribing to doctors
of the right solution. It's about leveraging the power of peer to peer networks. To give the doctor all the data points that she needs to take the most appropriate decision for her patient.
Now, think about the possibility wherein all this information that is getting generated
in these thousands and millions of conversations that is happening among the doctors, if we can all get this down into a summarised format and make it available for any doctor
across the world at the point when that doctor needs it.
Think about and I always go back to my father's story. Think about that situation If that younger cardiologist or even the senior cardiologist who dismissed the potential of my father
to be able to survive through the night have access to this information.
Today's technology makes it possible that phone call shouldn't have actually taken place. That information shouldn't have been available to that doctor at that point in time. Today's technology, like artificial intelligence, machine learning, is making this happen. And this is something that we can build on.
But the core fundamental is that there's enough experience which is available within doctors,
which is available within industry, It's all about getting them down to one platform.
It's all about getting them down to be able to collaborate among themselves and create this habit of learning from each other.
Think about the future, ladies and gentlemen, wherein based on what the doctor, based on what the doctors from a similar location are discussing, you know, you can identify potential disease hotspots immediately and think about how quickly help can be provided at a much earlier stage to these kind of outbreaks.
And ladies and gentlemen, this is not something which can happen only in the future.This is something which has already started to happen and this takes me to the core as to why peer to peer experience sharing is really working.
And from my perspective, you know, it's really about one thing. It's about trust. It's about relatability.
The world, the world works because it's human nature to make connects based on similarities Two people connect on their same interests, maybe in the same genre of music, for example.
And they can spend hours and hours discussing on the topic, even if they have met for the first time. There's an implicit connect that you make with peers because you can relate to that. There's a line of trust is automatically built because there is already a connection
that that other person is a peer.
It comes to us as second nature, and it's saying, For doctors in the world of medical education, medical aid, medical students, you know, tend to be taught by what is called as by rote, which is which is basically, you know, recognizing patterns.
But what doesn't necessarily happen is that these future doctors are taught about bias or reasoning and the pitfalls that go with reasoning on a long term basis.
There are discussions there are discussions currently within the medical universities of introducing the notion of bias and cognitive bias into the medical school curriculum so that physicians, nurses and all others involved are able to reach an appropriate diagnosis.
Now, these are not my words.
These are words from the CEO of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine SIDM Paul Epner.
Where does peer to peer discussions really help? It helps us to understand our biases to discussions and experience sharing among our trusted peer.
And it does. And it just doesn't stop at the medical school. It keeps on doing this
on a continual basis throughout the entire doctor's professional journey.
Now, second opinion.
Second opinions among are very common about are very common within the medical system. It's not something which it's new that what we are really trying to do.
Doctor discuss patient cases, that the human body is very interrelated. For example, cardiologist will take an opinion from a nephrologist when they're conducting a patient's
Surgery. However, they do this when they know with the people that they know,
the peers that they know, and the peers that they work with their immediate peers.
Think about a world, ladies and gentlemen, where you can create a global network of peers in my story around my father. It was a discussion between an Indian doctor and a U.S. doctor. Think about a world where you can take the boundaries of geographies, of specialisations, of years of experience out of the equation, because the objective of healthcare is to drive better outcomes for patients.
Think about a world where technology can help discussions within these trusted peers
without any of today's physical boundaries How do you take a point of point connection? A point to point network between two doctors?
Scale it up to millions and millions of peer to peer connections. Among doctors across the world. Think about how those millions and millions of connections this peer connections within the doctors can drive better outcomes for millions and millions of patients across the world.
Think about how peer to peer networks can really change the way healthcare
is really being structured, and it can do it internally rather than governments, healthcare institutions, policies, trying to drive this down.
This is implicit in our human nature, and this is what peer to peer networking really does. And I'm really proud to say that we are already on the journey.
On that day on 23rd June 2011 it was a connection between two doctors in two countries.
Today I was starting this company in 2016. We have expanded to eight countries across
Southeast Asia, and now we are moving into Taiwan and the Middle East
and the European region. We have over 300,000 plus doctors on the platform.
We've done about 4 million plus discussions think about the data that has actually getting generated.
Think about the information.
If you keep on expanding, keep on getting more doctors, creating more of these discussions,
among these doctors. Think about the impact it can actually create to these patients. A typical doctor in a year sees about 1800 patients. The impact of this kind of peer to peer network, even at this stage.
Think about it.
300,000 doctors into 1800 patients per year. That's the impact that we talk about
as a peer to peer networks. Simple peer to peer network and experience sharing process platform.
A habit can save lives.
So thank you, ladies and gentlemen, I really appreciate your time. Are there any questions that you have for me? I'm very, very happy to answer.
With that, I would like to take a bit of a pause and see if you guys have any other questions.