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Sarah iqbal

Business owner & Chief Scientific Officer, Digital Health Consultant, SIQ Innovation Solutions

 

Do not underestimate yourself - aim high. 

What do you do?

As a medical scientist and an avid user of technology, I work with a team of clinical investigators, researchers, clinicians and computer scientists to write clinical protocols and figure out which part of the protocols can be digitized or use digital technology such as applications, wearables, tablets, iPads to collect data - with the goal of streamlining the clinical trial processes.

 

My mission to help healthcare stakeholders understand the intersection of healthcare and digital technology and enabled them to adopt digital health. I work to foster innovation in clinical processes through digital health, with the aim to advance healthcare and help patients live better, quality lives.

Why did you choose this field?

The digital health industry is rapidly developing globally. Whilst a researcher, I started to test my ideas with my professors and colleagues on what services and products I can provide at the intersection of technology and healthcare to help sustain business models.

 

I became an entrepreneur in digital health to promote and utilise mobile technology in order to simplify clinical processes for both clinicians and patients, so they could better engage and make more informed decisions in health care.  

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

"I never thought I'd run a business or become an entrepreneur!

 

I thought not having a business background would hinder me from commercializing a scientific idea. However, the skills I honed as a scientist and my understanding of how technology works has allowed me to pick up management and leadership skills to enable myself to be a thought leader in the digital health field. Note to self - you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

Why do you love working in STEM?

"It's my mission to play an important role in that story."

 

I studied science because I like learning how elements in our lives are discovered, researched and understood. Science shapes how we live and is everywhere in the world around us.

 

Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. The notion that I can discover, innovate and invent and potentially contribute a little something to the sum of human knowledge motivates me.

 

Now working in the intersection of science and technology, I understand that there is a need for technologically-inclined expertise to boost the digital health revolution. It’s my mission to play an important role in that story.

Best advice for the next generation

Pursuing a STEM degree and career is an opportunity to do stimulating and meaningful work. You will be able to bring to valuable work to your community and to the world when you work in STEM. There is always something new to discover or invent.

 

To rise as a young woman in this space, it is crucial to build up your confidence and stand up for yourself. Become a solution oriented and a growth minded person. Find a support system, which could be made up of peers or other women in the STEM space. Always be learning and surround yourself with excellence. This is especially important for women. Do not underestimate yourself, aim high and be around people and colleagues who intellectually challenge you.

Fun fact

While I was a student, I ran an experiment to determine which three of these places have the highest number of bacterial count: a toilet of a public restroom, a public water cooler and a computer keyboard of a public library. I found out that the water cooler has the highest number of bacterial count and till today I cannot drink from a water cooler!