How I got into healthcare technology
(probably way more than you might ever want to know)
My interest in healthcare design, public health, and information and analytics was initially developed while completing my undergraduate education in New York City where I worked for the Friends of Plus Pool organization, initially as a water quality technician and later as the lead applied water quality researcher and site selection analyst. As part of the water quality program, I led, designed, and implemented one of the most intensive water quality and sampling programs ever conducted in the NYC watershed. This research program was focused on identifying bacterial and other contamination in the city’s waterways and utilizing the data to develop innovative technology solutions to address this problem while also allowing the public to utilize the waters for recreation without fear of becoming ill. Ironically, while working along the Hudson River I was exposed to a contaminated water sample and shortly thereafter became very sick with what was suspected to be cryptosporidium, a common pathogen found in contaminated water sources around the world. This experience made me realize that water, let alone access to it, is rarely contemplated in countries such as the United States due to the fact that there is a highly developed (although imperfect) base of policy and infrastructure which ensures continuous access to safe and reliable water sources. For those people living in developing nations, however, there is a very different story, especially in the face of dramatic socio-cultural and economic inequalities that often persist in these areas.
With the completion of my undergraduate education, I moved to Miami to pursue a graduate program in marine affairs and policy. Within this program my studies emphasized the area of oceans and human health with the goal to develop a practical background in both environmental and public health that could be applied to finding solutions to issues related to the global water crisis as well as in leading, building, and designing social sector initiatives and outreach programs. Shortly after completing the master’s program at the University of Miami, I was provided with the opportunity to complete additional training at the University’s Miller School of Medicine through an advanced medical certificate in public health which included the core content of the school’s master’s of public health program.
While still interested in developing solutions to address issues related to the global water crisis, my academic career provided much insight into other problems within the healthcare ecosystem. I realized that there was significant potential to effect positive change within the field of healthcare technology and information systems technology. In 2017, through a scholarship provided by Uber to attend a UX design program at Ironhack, a coding school in Miami, I was able to hone my visual design skills and radically change my research approach by applying academic methodology to User Experience research.
With healthcare being my core professional focus and having a solid understanding of healthcare ecosystems, I began working with Chen Medical (ChenMed) as a user experience designer/researcher tasked with conducting in depth research on the clinical care aspects within the organization. Additional responsibilities at ChenMed involved designing software systems and clinical applications (such as clinical decision support, health information exchanges, and clinical applications) to facilitate efficient and efficacious clinical support for the provider led care teams across the entire organization. As an organization, ChenMed is a full-risk primary care market leader with an innovative philosophy, a unique physician-led culture and end-to-end customized technology that is providing coordinated, world-class primary care to the most vulnerable population (moderate to low-income seniors with complex chronic diseases). Working at ChenMed has provided me with a thorough understanding of how preventive medicine in the treatment of individuals with multiple, complex illnesses can significantly leverage technology solutions and public health theories to deliver positive health outcomes and provide better care to high-risk individuals.
Through this work, I have developed a profound appreciation for health care systems, which has compelled me to find and deliver innovative solutions that address pressing needs in the industry and to create positive change in people's lives. In addition to user experience and product design, my understanding of healthcare informatics and data analytics provides additional perspectives for examining the intersection of people and processes, and for managing information within the healthcare ecosystem to assist in devising new ways to achieve better health for people across the globe. With a broad mix of professional experiences that have helped me to understand a variety of core issues that are of central importance to health care delivery, I am especially attracted to the use of emerging technologies and innovative use of current tech to cause dramatic disruption within the healthcare space.