What drew you to Weavr?
There were two big things that drew me to Weavr. The first was the mission. I was very much interested in the potential impact that Velvet and Silk, or any other future products, could have on public health. In the public health realm we talk a lot about health equity, and access to healthcare is a large determinant of health outcomes. With Weavr products there’s a great opportunity to reduce gaps in access by providing people with a convenient way to monitor their health through home collection and testing. That mission was something I really wanted to be part of.
The other thing that drew me in was the culture. The people really embody the mission to provide access to healthcare and make an impact. Everyone is very kind, passionate and committed. They want to be part of changing the testing landscape, and I recognized and appreciated that dedication right away.
One of the things that is unique about Weavr is our weekly company meetings where there’s an opportunity to talk about what everyone is working on. It’s also a time for us to come together and gain outside perspective. For one meeting, we all read the book “Start With Why” and then discussed how it relates to our work. Everyone in the room was clearly able to articulate why they were at Weavr; the passion really came through. Having those weekly meetings allows us to be very collaborative and to take a step back and remember why we’re all here.
What is your focus at Weavr?
I’m the new product planning lead, which means I focus on products early in the development pipeline, as well as expanding the testing potential for our existing products. My goal is to make sure that we, as a company, are beginning with the end in mind. I work on answering the question, “What do we want our products to be when they grow up?”
A big part of my job is also focusing on different market dynamics. What’s the latest and greatest in the field, and how can we fit in? How can we provide some sort of meaningful benefit? And a big part of that is making sure that we’re putting the needs of our customers first. We put the people who are going to be using our products front and center at the very earliest stages of development and all the way through to when the product comes to market.
What are some of the areas Weavr is getting into that are especially exciting?
We’re focused on products that can help with wellness and improving future health outcomes, so there’s a lot of exploratory work around new disease states and different ways to help people monitor and track their health.
We know our products have amazing value, and we want to make sure that everybody is able to access that value without barriers. Our flagship product, Velvet, is approved and is in use. Now, we are looking to make that product more accessible to the lab by developing solutions, including automation, to help integrate Velvet into lab workflow.
Why do you think the work Weavr does is important?
Our work can play an important role in combatting health disparities and narrowing gaps in access. When patients can’t see a doctor or get tested, it’s a huge problem. Healthcare is already really complicated to manage, so making health journeys as easy as possible is a win. Our products offer a convenient way for people to access their health from their own homes. Especially with the pandemic, there’s more openness toward having health services done at home, from telehealth to testing.
Our products can also offer clinicians the data to help manage their patients. And that’s ultimately what clinicians are trying do, right? They want to provide the best patient care to achieve the best possible outcomes.
When did you know you wanted to pursue a career relating to health?
I knew I wanted to be in a scientific field in high school. I had a phenomenal biology teacher who made me want to pursue a career in biological science. I ended up getting my degree in biochemistry and after graduating I worked at Boston Children’s Hospital in an academic immunology lab for about four years. Academic research can take years to have a direct impact, and I realized I wanted to pursue something that would more immediately affect people in a positive way. To help take that next step, I got a master’s degree in public health.
Having a background in both the sciences and public health has really helped steer my career. I bring both perspectives to my work, and that has helped me fully appreciate what we are trying to do at Weavr.
If you had to describe Weavr in three words, what would you say?
Innovative, nimble, and caring. Everyone at Weavr cares about improving health outcomes, and the speed at which we’ve developed products we’re proud of is really amazing. It shows the strength of the Weavr team and their ability to adapt to new markets and meet new healthcare needs.