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AI for Wellness: The New Frontier in Healthcare – Part 2

AI for Wellness: The New Frontier in Healthcare – Part 2

Welcome back to The Zista Podcast for Part 2 of our series, “AI for Wellness: The New Frontier in Healthcare.” Join us as we continue our conversation with Sumeet Maniar, a seasoned leader in healthcare technology from his role at Cipra.ai and as a former CEO of Wellbrain. Sumeet shares essential skills for innovating in healthcare through AI and discusses the diverse backgrounds that contribute to these advancements.

This episode also offers insights into developing technology solutions for healthcare and the considerations needed when taking a product to new markets. Perfect for students, emerging tech professionals, and those fascinated by AI’s role in healthcare, this episode provides expert advice and real-world applications.

Tune in for a compelling discussion that highlights the transformative effects of AI on the healthcare industry, providing practical insights for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Welcome to Part 2 of our engaging series on “AI for Wellness: The New Frontier in Healthcare,” here on The Zista Podcast. In this episode, we’re joined again by Sumeet Maniar. With over 25 years in diverse sectors including gaming and healthcare, Sumeet brings a wealth of knowledge from his current role at Cipra.ai and past experience as CEO of Wellbrain.

Sumeet shares his journey into healthcare technology, providing insights into the blend of passion and strategic thinking that has fueled his career. We delve into the essential skills that future professionals should cultivate to make meaningful contributions in this evolving field. Sumeet also highlights the diverse backgrounds that come together to innovate in healthcare using AI, giving listeners a comprehensive view of the industry’s dynamics.

Furthermore, we discuss practical strategies for young professionals aiming to develop impactful technology solutions and explore the considerations for scaling products across different markets. This episode offers a roadmap for understanding the complexities and opportunities in healthcare technology today.

Tune in to gain insights that could shape your career and influence the future of healthcare technology.


  • Students can enter the healthcare technology sector through multiple pathways, either focusing on product management from an engineering perspective or diving deep into technical skills like computer science and data science.
  • Consider pursuing a Master’s in Public Health or an MBA focused on healthcare to target healthcare companies as potential employers for ease of entry into the sector.
  • Leverage networks and global ecosystems like StartupHealth to gain market insights and facilitate entry into new healthcare markets.
  • Invest time in understanding local market dynamics and consumer needs by establishing a physical presence, which is crucial for successful product adaptation.



Q1. What skills are necessary for students entering the healthcare technology sector?

A: Sumeet explains that there are two primary pathways for entering the healthcare technology space. The first pathway focuses on the product aspects. Students might not need to be deeply technical but should aim to become product-focused, which often stems from an engineering background. Modern business schools now offer specialized courses in product management, a field that has grown significantly in the last decade. This route allows students to lean towards either the technical side or remain more aligned with product management.

The second pathway is more technical, involving learning skills in computer science, computer engineering, or even electrical engineering with a focus on coding. Here, students can delve into data science, AI courses, or even majors and sub-majors that are applicable to healthcare companies.

Furthermore, Sumeet suggests that specializing in a master’s in public health or an MBA with a focus on healthcare practices can also be a viable route. This educational focus targets healthcare companies as potential first employers, making the entry into the sector potentially easier than in the past. Previously, the healthcare industry emphasized traditional medicine and required medical degrees, but now, technology has broadened the entry points into the sector, allowing individuals from product and engineering backgrounds to contribute significantly.

Sumeet highlights that his own journey into the healthcare market with WellBrain was facilitated by a blend of medical, technical, and business expertise. His colleagues in the digital health space also come from diverse disciplines, underscoring the varied backgrounds that can converge in healthcare technology.

Q2. Which diverse disciplines contribute to AI solutions in healthcare?

A: Sumeet highlights the variety of backgrounds that come together to develop AI solutions in healthcare. On the development side, he notes that developers and engineers often enter the field without prior healthcare experience, learning on the job by understanding product and functional requirements. Similarly, professionals in UI/UX and those with sales backgrounds have made significant contributions, especially in startup environments where industry expertise can be leveraged for better outcomes.

Furthermore, the integration of medical expertise is crucial. Physicians and medical staff provide essential insights that guide the development process, ensuring that the solutions meet real healthcare needs. Sumeet also mentions roles filled by individuals with non-medical backgrounds, such as those in sales, marketing, and business development, which are vital for delivering successful AI healthcare solutions.

Additionally, there are diverse educational paths contributing to this field. Some team members may come from liberal arts backgrounds or have studied biology at an undergraduate level, later focusing on care management. This broad range of disciplines, from contractors to full-time employees, showcases the interdisciplinary nature necessary for advancing AI in healthcare.


Q3: What strategic advice can you offer to aspiring health tech innovators?

A: Sumeet emphasizes the vast opportunities currently available for young professionals interested in health tech, particularly noting the dynamic market in India. With his own experiences of starting businesses in India, he reflects on the significant change over the years, from initial internet penetration to now, where adoption rates are soaring.

Sumeet points out that developing a robust solution for the Indian market can serve as a springboard for global expansion, as seen with companies like Innovaccer. His advice for those entering this space is to focus on significant health issues that need addressing—such as early detection of heart attacks and diabetes management in India. Technology plays a critical role in reducing costs and improving efficiency, which is crucial in rural areas. With widespread mobile device usage, there’s potential to further reduce costs and increase accessibility, opening up numerous opportunities for innovative solutions in healthcare.

Q4: What factors should be considered when introducing a product from a different market into the Healthcare market?

A: Drawing from his diverse experience, including the video game industry, Sumeet outlines the considerations for transitioning any tech product into the healthcare market. Initially, he reflects on how the universal appeal of video games facilitated market entry decisions. Key considerations included analyzing traffic patterns, deciding on the necessity for local languages, and setting up customer support, partnerships, and distribution networks. This strategy helped him successfully enter various markets, such as Turkey and Korea, where he sometimes resided to gain a deeper understanding.

However, the healthcare sector presents unique challenges due to its regulatory environment. For instance, while the U.S. is a difficult market to penetrate due to stringent digital healthcare regulations, the UK might offer a more accessible entry point under NHS guidelines. Establishing a local presence and understanding the market firsthand are crucial steps.

Sumeet also emphasizes the importance of leveraging networks, which can be facilitated by platforms like LinkedIn and supported by venture capital investors who can provide introductions and aid in network building.

Moreover, being part of global ecosystems, such as StartupHealth, which connects digital health companies around the world, can be invaluable. Such networks offer support and insights, making it easier to understand foreign markets and navigate their specific challenges. For example, if exploring the Argentinian market, one could connect with a local health tech CEO for firsthand insights.

These considerations are vital for tech companies aiming to transition their products into the healthcare sector, where understanding local nuances and regulatory requirements is key to successful market entry.

Podcast Host: Amit Ahuja, Associate Director, Communications & Digital, Zista Education
Podcast Guest: Sumeet Maniar, Fractional Executive (CPO & Growth), Cipra.ai
Video & Audio Editing: Dhanish Shah, Communications Associate, Zista Education
Podcast Manager: Russel Aldridge, Sr. Manager, Creative & Digital, Zista Education
Transcript & Captions: Tanya Kakka, Freelance Copywriters