Innovating a better patient experience

Syllable Corporation is fueled by a mission to make health care accessible through artificial intelligence–enabled services.

From multiple call transfers to long hold times, those seeking to reach their health care providers are often confronted with a series of communication barriers. To help patients connect to the care they need, the team at Syllable Corporation is helping to alleviate these accessibility burdens. The Sunnyvale, Calif.–based tech firm is behind the leading conversational artificial intelligence (A.I.) solution for health system call centers. Syllable is enabling a patient to schedule appointments, access medical records, and refill prescriptions, without waiting on hold or using antiquated call center menus

“The first step for us is understanding the challenges that patients face and then determining where technology can help,” says Kobus Jooste, CEO at Syllable. “Our team is committed to solving these very challenging problems in health care.”

Behind the startup is a 60-member interdisciplinary team of doctors, health care professionals, solution specialists, and computer scientists, all of whom are working to provide more equitable access for patients. Syllable is especially focused on reaching people who have no employer-based health insurance. This includes those on Medicare and Medicaid, which accounts for every six in 10 patients Syllable serves, according to Jooste.

“We are continually working to make an impact by bringing our values of empathy, transparency, and intelligence to every patient’s health care journey,” he says. 

Syllable’s work was especially critical during the pandemic, when phone systems were completely overloaded and health care workers were stretched thin. In the response to the growing demand for information and resources, Syllable launched a COVID-19 assistant, the first A.I. assistant on the market to help health systems deploy automated solutions to address pandemic-related patient queries. In 2021, Syllable had interacted with 39.7 million Americans through text and calls about primary care, specialty referrals, vaccinations, and general practice information.

“I’m really proud of the work that this team has accomplished in carrying out our mission in health care,” says Jooste. “I’m equally proud of the work they put into building the culture of this company.”

Syllable has created a wholesome, collaborative, and inclusive work environment that welcomes people with different viewpoints and backgrounds. Its leadership prides itself on open communication and being role models of the company’s values, which have been developed and refined since the company was founded in 2016. In fact, 98% of team members believe that our leaders are easy to talk to and approachable—a result of its executives’ open-door policy. Still, Jooste says, the company is always focused on getting better.

“We are committed to keep learning in order to improve the experience for our patients, our partners, and our employees,” says Jooste. “We are focused on having an impact in healthcare and enabling equitable access to care for all.”