We recently sat down to talk with Jennifer, analyst at Edge Health to find out about her experience as a woman in the health-tech space - read on!
How did you end up in a Health Data Analyst role? Is Healthcare a passion of yours?
''I have always had an interest in healthcare - my mum is a doctor back in Canada, so I grew up hearing about what it’s like to work in the field. Healthcare is a field that impacts everyone though – we all will need healthcare at some point in our lives and we all have loved ones who will as well. On the other hand, when I was thinking about what type of career I wanted to pursue, I heard much less about the data analytics side of healthcare. I think this is changing – healthcare data analytics is an exciting and quickly expanding field – but if you haven’t considered it before and are someone with good quantitative skills, and an interest in healthcare, I highly recommend it. I have always liked Maths and Science (I did my bachelors’ degree in Chemistry and Maths before doing a masters in Health Economics at the LSE), and have felt that being a healthcare data analyst was the perfect blend of my interests. It’s been great working for a company like Edge Health, where I get to solve technical problems and build data products for various healthcare organisations''.
Is there a project you’re working on that you’d like to tell us about?
''I am currently working on a really interesting project called CanTrack – it is a tool that we are building with a hospital trust that helps them keep cancer patients on track throughout all the steps that come before cancer treatment. This helps patients who are diagnosed with cancer get treated sooner and helps hospitals stick to their 62-day targets. The tool also helps cancer teams plan capacity to prevent bottlenecks at each of the steps from referral to treatment. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the cancer team at the hospital trust to build a user-friendly tool – it’s really motivating to know that the work we’re putting in on this project will in turn benefit patients''.
What are you doing to help you develop your skills and knowledge?
''We hold internal technical meetings every month within the team. These meetings allow us to share code, give feedback to each other and help solve any issues we have encountered. On top of that, I think it’s important to keep learning and reading – for sure get out there and build something but don’t forget to keep on top of developments in the field (open-source languages evolve quickly!). Mostly though I have learned from the work that I do on a day-to-day basis and from working closely with colleagues''.
What would be the advice you would give to women who are looking to join as a Data Analyst in healthcare?
''I can’t speak for everyone, but what I’ve found helpful is to look for and spend time in inclusive spaces within the field. I have found this both at Edge and in various communities championing women in tech. For example, OneHealthTech is an organisation that supports inclusivity in healthcare innovation – the events that they put on are a great place to meet new and interesting people! Especially, if you’re just starting, becoming part of a community can be really helpful''.