The Millenial Go to Care destination, Columbia Asia, rolls out a personalised platform with Praktice

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With Swagato Mukherjee, Marketing Manager Columbia Asia

Million patients


speciality care divisions

For over 15 years, Columbia Asia has been the millennial go-to destination for advanced care treatments.  The group has been reimagining the future of healthcare to provide a seamless care experience. This philosophy is key to Columbia Asia’s growth, and they’ve partnered with Praktice to help make it happen.

In just 15 years, Columbia Asia established itself as one of the most preferred care destinations for millennials in India. With over 56000 robotic advanced surgeries and treating over 200 thousand International patients, an impressive social media footprint, the group tapped into the right sources on their way to success. But this success didn’t keep them from looking ahead. In a statement about the group’s state, Marketing Manager Swagato Mukherjee said that

Advanced technologies and innovation had been the way at Columbia Asia from the very beginning.

For Columbia Asia which was advancing the care methods for their patients, to make the healthcare more personalised for their patients was the primary need in 2019 as the way forward. The current Patient Access was manual driven with hospital’s call-centre agents being the point of contact for patients. To book an appointment, patients would fill a form on Columbia Asia’s website or call up the hospital. Due to lack of medical knowledge, the agents would have to rely on experience to direct the patients to the right specialists. The agents would have to refer to doctor availability charts or get in touch with the corresponding doctor, fix a time for appointment and get back to the patient. If the time was not suitable for the patient, then the process would have to be repeated again. All this led to poor patient experience and loss of leads and revenue for the hospital.

Being a progressive healthcare organization, Columbia Asia wanted an ambitious solution to this and which would also ensure more personalized care to the dynamic new-age population. “We needed something which would relieve the burden on our agents, drive more conversations through personalized care and increase operational efficiency”. Praktice, the leader in Asia Pacific in delivering personalized care through AI-powered chat assistant, was exactly what Swagato was looking for when they explored the market for solutions. Praktice offered an end-to-end digital patient engagement solution, modern and customizable user interface, ability to navigate patients to correct care as per their medical context and provide 8x superior patient engagement experience than humanly possible. Using advanced AI and NLP, Praktice could capture the essence of the patients’ problems, even if expressed in the most natural form, and drive conversations to successful bookings.

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Amid success, Columbia Asia looks to the future

Columbia Asia rolled out Praktice’s assistant on their website. The patients were now able to visit Columbia Asia’s website, have a medically relevant conversation with the assistant and also book appointments as per their convenience in real-time. Over the course of next __ months, __ users migrated to book the appointment through Praktice’s assistant. The assistant naturally lessened the burden on the operators though automation, but also exceeded expectations of the Columbia Asia team by improving patient experience and reducing cost. “ Improvement in patient experience and cost reduction ”, Swagato explains. Customizability at each touch point allowed Columbia Asia to tailor the experience to their needs.

When a patient logs on to Columbia Asia’s website, they are greeted by Praktice’s assistant. The patients can just type in their medical query or search a doctor by name. The assistant extracts relevant information regarding associated symptoms, onset, region, intensity, etc. in a very concise and to-the-point conversation to guide the patient to the correct specialists for treatment. With this, patients experienced the feeling of talking to a person with medical knowledge which increased their confidence to go ahead and seek care. If the desired specialist is not available, the assistant shows the best alternative specialist as well. “Through backend integrations, the assistant autonomously fetches information about doctors, their availabilities, their case preference etc. Which provides the patients the critical information to make a informed choice, which also saves a lot of operational manual work every day.”

With a choice to the patient to book an appointment with a corresponding available specialist, the assistant also links with the Columbia Asia payment gateway to offer a one-stop booking experience. Unlike in the case of human-driven appointments, the booking confirmation is immediately sent to both the doctor and the patient with relevant details in each mail. 

In addition, CA’s patients can also request the assistant for a ‘second opinion’ and ‘health checkups’ and the assistant drives these requests through conversations.

With Praktice, the Columbia Asia team was able to book more appointments, deliver a better patient experience and drive incremental revenues while providing more value for care. This proved to be even more important today in 2020 when there is a high care surge.

The assistant also enabled them to unlock more value from their marketing expenditure by having the supporting infrastructure, which aligned with the expectations of the traffic that came to their website through social media channels.

Seizing new opportunities for better patient care 

With the advent of COVID-19 crisis, Columbia Asia also opted for the COVID-19 screening module offered by Praktice. Patients could check for their COVID - 19 infection risk based on a comprehensive group of factors like their location, symptoms, age, travel history, medical history etc. The screening module, integrated with the AI assistant, doubled up as a protection for the frontline staff to arrange the intake of at-risk patients appropriately, minimize contact and guide the respective patients to seek proper care.


Apart from reaping the benefits from the assistant, Columbia Asia has also embraced Praktice’s Teleconsultation platform to expand their care propositions. In a completely automated workflow, Praktice enables HD teleconsultation sessions, comprehensive patient case summary, automated e-prescription with digital signing facility with a customizable and hospital branded interface, without the need to download any app or browser extensions. To embrace the future of healthcare, Swagato explains why it is important for care providers to enable virtual visits “” This visionary approach of the Columbia Asia team has consistently made them a top choice for care-seekers.