Product Manager Shubham's Interview on Tech in Healthcare
Our product manager, Shubham has been with Medbelle since 2021, read all about his approach to tech in healthcare and what the future holds for digital health.
Written by Chloe Gale
Published: Tuesday, 5 July 2022
When building and developing product, how do you start your process?
The process starts with the big question of why we are doing this in the first place? The why is usually driven by what our product strategy is at the time and asking how does it align with the overall company direction?
Once we know why, the challenge is that we can do 100s of things at any given time, but we need to be very selective in understanding what next steps we want to take and how that unlocks value for us in both the short term and long term. After we have clarified the Why, it's about Who. In the last year, our focus has been mostly on the surgeons and secretaries, how they run the practice and the day-to-day management systems. The idea is always research-driven.
Product research days are twice a month when we speak with surgeons and secretaries and learn from their experience and the software they use, and ask if they request something specific. It means, on the one hand, we are researching, but also, we are creating our product using the input of those who will actually use it.
Once we have the data from the user research, we go back to the drawing board and begin designing.
What does simpler, smarter, more personal healthcare mean to you?
More Personal and Smarter healthcare can only be unlocked through the power of data and that is what we are trying to do through the product. The more essential information we know from our patients and their needs, maybe their current condition, their medical histories or other important factors for their health needs. - the more personalised care we can provide. The first requirement is data. We are not this Big Brother who wants data indiscriminately; it is a very targeted purpose. Everybody should have access to this kind of healthcare. I think the UK sets a great example worldwide with the NHS. Technology is one of the things that will help us achieve simpler, smarter, and more personal healthcare for everyone.
What are your biggest challenges, and how do you overcome them?
As a product manager, the biggest challenge is always what to build next. Again, we do not have a huge capacity. So what helps are discussions and collaboration with the team to align with our current strategy. Research helps drive our decisions. It's easy to start making decisions based on your own assumptions and biases, but only when you look at the data you can actually find out what the truth is.
What drew you to Medbelle? What was it about the role that attracted you?
When I was looking for a change, I had some specific sectors in mind - education and healthcare. I also knew which sectors I didn’t want to get into, for example, E-commerce or Ad-Tech companies; I don't really see that they bring a lot of good to the world. They just want you to buy more stuff.
I have had many years of experience, but I wanted to put that experience into a sector which could make an impact. Also, the size of Medbelle is very ideal. In a big company, you tend to get lost among the people. It is the right size to have as much impact as you can.
How do you integrate technological advancement and human intuition and engagement?
The way I see it, technology is here to support and assist in whatever experiences we are trying to build. It doesn't start with tech, but instead, we go back to understanding what experience we’re trying to create.
If we take the example of our application, Lucy (Patient Care Adviser system) - as soon as you log in, you see cards about where you are in the patient pathway or what kind of surgery they are interested in, for example - this has been developed through our research where we have understood what the user needs at any given time. If you are clear on the user's needs, technology becomes the enabler, and emphasis is on how you can enhance the experience of the user.
You’ve recently relocated to Berlin for your role; how has it been for you, and how did Medbelle support this decision?
I have lived in London for some time in the past; that's the only experience I have in Europe to compare it to. Berlin seems to be more of a free city. In London, things are more formal - people are dressed professionally. Here is freer. I was initially unsure about how it was all going to work. After a few weeks, it feels great to be in this environment, everyone has been really friendly, and everything is going well.
Medbelle also helped me with the move. They helped with the agency and visa process, too, so that’s been really helpful.
Any advice for someone pursuing a career in product design/management?
One piece of advice is always to be curious about everything that happens around you. In the end, the product is always about building experiences. The more curious you are about asking questions like what is this experience trying to do, who is it built for - a lot of times you will think, I could do this better. Be curious and observant about the experiences around you that will intuitively help you to become a good product person.
What do you think digital healthcare will look like in five years' time?
Healthcare as a sector is very slow to change. Things like telehealth or telemedicine are not new; they’ve been around for quite some time. But the penetration of those services is still not at its fullest yet. We can only hope that things are going to change for the better; for example, we improve the penetration of digital health services and try to increase access. More and more people have internet access now, so people should have access to healthcare at their fingertips.
Also, healthcare will get more personalised based on more data we have on patients and also, it will become timely with the right interventions. People are trying to build systems which are able to catch problems before they happen but they are very far away, and we need a lot of data to get there. So five years maybe not for this; it will be an incremental change.
Learn more about Shubham and his experience and training:
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