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AI meets dermatology to enhance personalized skincare

Conceptual art copyrighted to HiEquity.ai

The Global Burden of Disease Study highlights that skin diseases were the fourth leading cause of non-fatal disease burden worldwide in 2013. Notably, the global incidence rate of dermatitis has shown a significant decrease, from 24% in 1990–2007 to 13.0% in 2007–2017, yet it remains among the top 20 causes of disability globally, measured in years lived with disability (YLD). The prevalence of skin diseases like melanoma, a severe form of skin cancer, varies across regions, being more common in areas with higher UV radiation exposure, such as Australasia and North America. The global dermatology market has been growing robustly. Valued at USD 36.82 billion in 2019, the dermatology drugs market is projected to expand to USD 63.99 billion by 2027, progressing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9%. Further projections suggest a growth to $55,425.0 million by 2030 from $25,228.2 million in 2019, at an 8.8% CAGR between 2020 and 2030.

In the rapidly evolving global health landscape, Clinikally has emerged as a significant player in the dermatology sector. Founded on July 1, 2021, by Arjun Soin and Nishant Maggon, this health-tech startup is headquartered in Gurgaon. Known for its dynamic growth and technological innovation, Gurgaon is situated in the northern Indian state of Haryana. Being part of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, Clinikally is strategically positioned in an area known for its burgeoning startup ecosystem and technological advancements. Leveraging technological innovation and its geographic location, Clinikally is well-positioned to make substantial contributions to dermatology, addressing both healthcare and economic aspects of skin diseases globally.

Pain point addressed

Clinikally, operating in the APAC region, specifically targets critical challenges in dermatology care, particularly in urban settings. The platform is designed to overcome obstacles such as prolonged waiting periods, limited access to specialists, and the impact of environmental factors on skin conditions. It streamlines access to specialized dermatological care in high-demand urban areas, addressing common issues like delayed specialist consultations and the scarcity of personalized skincare products. Additionally, Clinikally responds to dermatological challenges induced by diverse climates and pollution, meeting the increasing demand for specialized care among the urban middle class. The platform integrates telemedicine, tailored treatment plans, and an online pharmacy, thereby enhancing the entire care process from diagnosis to product delivery. This comprehensive approach not only aids patients with chronic skin conditions but also broadens dermatologists’ reach, establishes direct connections between pharmacies and consumers, and alleviates pressure on the healthcare system.

Type of solution

Clinikally’s digital health solution for dermatology encompasses:

  • Telemedicine consultations: secure, remote consultations with dermatology specialists, leveraging HIPAA-compliant communication tools for patient privacy.
  • AI-enabled personalized treatment plans: customized treatment recommendations based on machine learning analysis of patient data, symptoms, and history.
  • Integrated online pharmacy: direct access to prescribed dermatological medications and cosmeceuticals, streamlining the prescription fulfillment process.
  • Continuous patient monitoring and follow-up: features for ongoing patient progress tracking and treatment adjustment, including digital health records and reminder systems.
Source: https://www.ycombinator.com/launches/H51-clinikally-india-s-one-stop-telemedicine-platform-online-pharmacy-for-dermatology-care

Type of input data leveraged

  • Medical history: This includes previous diagnoses, treatments, and outcomes related to dermatological conditions.
  • Symptom descriptions: Detailed descriptions of current skin issues, including duration, severity, and any triggering factors.
  • Photographic data: images of the skin condition, which can be crucial for accurate remote diagnosis and monitoring in dermatology.
  • Patient-reported outcomes: information provided by patients about their experience with the condition, including pain levels, impact on daily life, and treatment preferences.
  • Lifestyle information: data related to lifestyle factors that might affect skin health, such as diet, exercise, exposure to pollutants, and skincare routines.
  • Environmental data: information about the patient’s environment that could impact skin conditions, like climate, humidity levels, or exposure to allergens.
  • Pharmacological history: details of any medications the patient is currently taking or has taken in the past, which could influence treatment choices.
  • Allergy information: data on any known allergies, particularly those related to skin products or medications, to avoid adverse reactions.

Key technology involved

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): The platform utilizes artificial intelligence to assist in diagnosing skin conditions and formulating personalized treatment plans. AI algorithms can analyze patient data, symptoms, and image inputs to provide accurate and tailored care recommendations.
  • Telemedicine technology: Clinikally employs advanced telemedicine technology, facilitating real-time virtual consultations between patients and dermatologists. This includes high-definition video conferencing and secure communication channels, ensuring both convenience and confidentiality.
  • Integrated E-pharmacy: The platform is expected to include an e-pharmacy component, providing patients with direct access to prescribed dermatological products. This integration likely involves inventory management, secure payment processing, and logistic tracking systems.

Key applications of solution

Clinikally’s platform incorporates several innovative features, each tailored to enhance the delivery and management of dermatological care:

Telemedicine consultations

  • Real-time virtual appointments: enable immediate consultations with dermatologists using high-definition video conferencing and secure communication channels.
  • Rapid specialist access: reduces wait times for specialist appointments, which is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment initiation.

AI-enabled personalized treatment plans

  • Advanced diagnostic algorithms: AI-driven analysis of patient data, symptoms, and images to diagnose skin conditions accurately.
  • Customized care protocols: algorithms suggest treatment plans tailored to individual patient profiles, considering factors like medical history and lifestyle.

Integrated E-pharmacy service

  • Direct access to medications: streamlines the process of obtaining prescribed dermatological drugs and products.
  • Automated refill and reminder systems: ensure continuous medication availability and adherence through timely reminders and automatic refill orders.

Digital imaging and dermatological analysis

  • Image processing for diagnosis: Utilizes computer vision to analyze skin condition photographs, aiding in remote diagnosis and monitoring treatment progress.
  • Comparative analysis over time: tracks changes in skin conditions through successive image submissions, enhancing treatment efficacy evaluation.

Implications for key stakeholders

  • Patients with chronic or complex dermatological conditions: Patients benefit from ongoing monitoring and tailored care plans, crucial for conditions requiring long-term management, such as psoriasis or eczema. The integration of reminder systems and easy access to medications through e-pharmacy could lead to better adherence to treatment regimens, a key factor in managing chronic dermatological conditions.
  • Dermatologists and skin specialists: The telemedicine platform allows dermatologists to consult with a larger patient base, including those in remote or underserved areas. AI-driven diagnostic tools provide additional insights and support, aiding in more accurate and efficient diagnosis, particularly in complex cases where visual examination alone might be challenging.
  • Pharmacies and cosmeceutical manufacturers: The e-pharmacy aspect creates a direct channel to consumers, bypassing traditional retail constraints and potentially increasing market penetration. The platform can provide anonymized aggregate data on product efficacy and usage, which is valuable for product development and marketing strategies.
  • Healthcare system and insurers: By addressing dermatological needs remotely, Clinikally can reduce non-urgent visits to clinics and hospitals, thereby alleviating the overall burden on the healthcare system. The platform’s data collection capabilities could support insurers and healthcare systems in moving towards outcome-based care models, where treatment efficacy and patient outcomes drive healthcare decisions and reimbursements.
  • Regulatory bodies: The deployment and operation of Clinikally provide real-world data on the efficacy and challenges of telemedicine and digital health platforms, aiding regulatory bodies in shaping future healthcare technology regulations.
  • Research and development entities: Aggregated and anonymized patient data can be a valuable resource for research into dermatological conditions and treatments, potentially leading to new discoveries and advancements in skin care.

Current impact

  • Clinikally has extended its services across more than 700 cities, indicating a wide geographical reach within a relatively short period since its inception.
  • The company claims to have served over 450,000 users across 500 cities, demonstrating significant penetration in the dermatology telemedicine market.
  • Clinikally stands out in its approach to product curation and formulation. The platform is known for screening thousands of Rx-grade products and selecting the best based on reviewing a large number of prescriptions.
  • The products available on the platform are strictly curated and, in many cases, formulated by doctors, ensuring high quality and efficacy tailored to patient needs.

Potential future impact

  • The company is actively developing a database of skin profiles, which is expected to support automated, AI-enabled diagnoses. This indicates an investment in technological infrastructure to enhance the quality and accuracy of dermatological care.
  • Clinikally aims to enable same-day doorstep delivery across all Tier 1 cities in India and plans to add 250 partner clinics. This expansion plan reflects its commitment to increasing accessibility and convenience in dermatological care.

Business model

  • B2C (Business to Consumer): This aspect involves directly servicing individual patients and also providing various products. Clinikally offers personalized care through telemedicine consultations and an integrated e-pharmacy. Patients can access dermatological services from the comfort of their homes, making it convenient and accessible for individuals seeking specialized skin care.
  • B2B2C (Business to Business to Consumer): In this model, Clinikally partners with clinics and other healthcare providers. This partnership allows Clinikally to extend its digital dermatology services to a broader patient base through established healthcare institutions. This not only increases Clinikally’s reach but also enhances the service offerings of these clinics and providers, providing them with advanced digital tools and specialized dermatological expertise.

Funding and key investors

On September 29, 2023, Clinikally successfully raised $2.6 million in a seed funding round. This round saw contributions from Alagu Periyannan and 12 other investors. Clinikally, a healthcare platform, has amassed $3.2 million through four rounds of funding, demonstrating consistent investor interest and financial support for its growth and development. Y Combinator, a prominent accelerator known for backing innovative startups, has played a key role as an investor in Clinikally. This support from Y Combinator, a name synonymous with early-stage startup success, not only provides essential funding but also signifies a strong endorsement of Clinikally’s potential in the digital health domain. Y Combinator’s investment is a testament to Clinikally’s promising approach to revolutionizing dermatology care through technology, marking it as a significant player in the healthcare startup ecosystem.

Competitive differentiator

  • Beyond standard telemedicine: In contrast to typical telemedicine services, Clinikally conducts thorough reviews of numerous prescriptions to pinpoint the most effective treatments for individual skin conditions.
  • Personalized treatment selection: ensures patients receive highly personalized treatments, specifically tailored to their unique dermatological needs.
  • Distinctive product curation focus: Clinikally stands out with its meticulous curation of Rx-grade skin and hair products, formulated using advanced technology. The company rigorously screens products, connecting consumers with dermatologists for personalized treatment plans. Emphasizing AI-driven solutions, Clinikally offers tailored care, setting a high standard in digital dermatological services.

Relevant regulatory and compliance requirements

  • Data protection and privacy laws: Adherence to regulations like GDPR (in Europe) or similar laws in other jurisdictions to ensure the confidentiality and security of patient data.
  • Healthcare compliance standards: Compliance with healthcare-specific regulations such as HIPAA (in the U.S.) for protecting sensitive patient health information.
  • Telemedicine regulations: adhering to specific telemedicine laws and guidelines that vary by region ensures legal and ethical virtual consultations.
  • Pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical regulations: compliance with regulations governing the sale and distribution of medications and skin care products, including FDA regulations in the U.S. or equivalent in other countries.
  • AI and machine learning oversight: following guidelines for the ethical use of AI in healthcare, particularly in diagnostics and treatment recommendation systems.

Partnerships and collaborations

As of now, specific details about Clinikally’s partnerships and collaborations are not readily available. Such partnerships could potentially include collaborations with healthcare providers, technology partners, research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies, which would typically be aimed at enhancing their service offerings, expanding market reach, and fostering innovation in dermatology care.


I cannot believe my melasma has finally cleared. I am so glad I came across Clinikally. I got a treatment plan with a doctor’s note delivered for free in just two days.” User

Areas for continuous improvement

For continuous improvement, the following should be considered:

  • Genomic integration: explore incorporating genomic data analysis for more personalized treatments based on genetic profiles, enhancing treatment effectiveness, especially for genetically influenced skin conditions.
  • Predictive analytics through genomics: utilize genomic data for early identification of potential skin issues using genetic markers, positioning Clinikally as a leader in personalized dermatology medicine.





Disclaimer: Please note that the opinions, content, and analysis in my posts are entirely my own and do not reflect the views of any current or past employers or institutional affiliations. These posts, based solely on publicly available information, are for informational purposes and should not be taken as professional advice. All insights and conclusions are my viewpoints and should not be considered representative of any organizations I am or have been associated with. This content is not endorsed by, nor does it represent the stance of any affiliated entity.


Hiequity Team

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