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Tech Tonic: Ashoke Dave’s Fusion of Health and Innovation

Tech Tonic: Ashoke Dave's Fusion of Health and Innovation


Discover the extraordinary career journey of Ashoke Dave, a pioneer who shifted from Civil Engineering to becoming a trailblazer in healthcare and technology integration. From his days at BITS Pilani to creating one of the nation's first Healthcare Technology ASPs, Ashoke Dave's path is an inspiration to all. Learn how he tackled challenges in healthcare technology, his vision for the future, and advice for students aspiring to follow a similar path.


While at BITS Pilani, you studied Civil Engineering and were actively involved in sports, leading the badminton team to Regionals in Nainital. How did your experiences as a student-athlete influence your approach to teamwork and leadership in your professional career?

I have always believed in the added value of participation in sports/athletics to make a person well-rounded. Aside from the health and wellness benefits, such activities (as well as drama, music, arts, etc.)  bring a different perspective, especially in demanding Pilani-type educational environments. As the Captain of the Badminton Team, I learned how to motivate my teammates and create schemes to foster friendship and mutual respect among all players. 

What motivated your career shift from Civil Engineering to IT and healthcare, and how did your engineering background contribute to your success?

Pilani undergraduate education prepares an individual to face the world and the challenges in any line of career, be it engineering, technology, management, politics, or entertainment. I have always been interested in the educational and healthcare parts of our society, and my graduate work at UCLA was focused on Operations Research and Large-Scale Systems facing our lives. I was driven to Healthcare because it is the second largest industry in the U.S., next to Defence. It touches every human being and has the most rapidly advancing healthcare technologies, disease management/treatment protocols, and the Rx Industry. 

Creating one of the State’s first ASPs (Application Service Providers) for Healthcare Technology is a remarkable achievement. Can you share the story behind the inception of this groundbreaking initiative?

In the ‘70s and early ‘80s, Timeshare was in vogue. I was fortunate to have developed close relationships with the CEOs of some prominent Healthcare companies, such as G.E., IBM, DEC (then), HBO & Co. (McKesson) and SMS (Siemens), among others. Thus came the vision of creating ASPs in the healthcare arena, extending the value of large-scale, relatively expensive, stand-alone software solutions to mid-size and small clients with Integration bundled with service and passion. 

Could you describe a specific technology-related challenge you encountered as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and how you overcame it?

Cedars-Sinai has always been at the forefront of healthcare in the U.S. It was rated in the top 2 in the most recent surveys. The most difficult challenge for me then was focusing on the basics of " billing and collections" to ensure a decent bottom line. However, being a Hospital, the medical staff were only interested in medical care and felt neglected with this focus. Thus, I had to build alliances with the Medical and Nursing Leadership, with fortunate and overwhelming support from the C.E.O. & the B.O.D. 

How does Second Opinion Expert, Inc. address challenges in the US healthcare system and improve patient healthcare experience?

The second opinion validates/reaffirms, or does not, the original opinion of a Specialist.  It minimizes unnecessary procedures and provides an unbiased medical solution, with no personal benefits to the Specialist providing the second opinion. Studies have shown that almost 29% of all medical procedures performed in the last three decades were unnecessary! In addition, they caused uncalled-for pain and suffering and even resulted in death. 

Throughout your career, you've witnessed significant advancements in healthcare technology. What emerging technology is most promising for transforming the US healthcare system in the coming years?

The most significant technology in Healthcare will be the easy availability of an Integrated Healthcare Record for every Patient/ Individual at their fingertips. The Patient needs to control the information and be auto-AI-prompted, based on the individual profile (and compared to similar profiles), and offered wellness tips and disease management/treatment protocols.

Considering your experiences and the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare and technology, what specific challenges do you think current students at BITS Pilani aspiring to pursue a career similar to yours might face, and what advice would you like to share with them?

That is a tough one! Work hard, play hard, be inquisitive, question everything, do not blindly trust what you read and hear, do your research, talk to many people in your field of work, LISTEN well, and make your own decisions. Find a Good Mentor(s).