Employee Spotlight: Amila Patel

Here at Navigating Cancer, we’re proud of our team and all they accomplish every day. We’re introducing a new Employee Spotlight series on our blog to let you get to know the people who are working behind the scenes to help Navigating Cancer transform the patient experience through patient-centered cancer care.

Our first Employee Spotlight Interview focuses on Amila Patel, our Senior Director of Clinical Innovation.

What do you do at Navigating Cancer? 

I joined Navigating Cancer in April 2020 as the Senior Director of Clinical Innovation to help lead our clinical research initiatives related to our digital monitoring platform and patient-reported outcomes data. I spend most of my days working with our team of data scientists, product managers, and clinicians to develop research projects or answer research questions related to our dataset.

What motivated you to start working with Navigating Cancer?

I think one thing that I missed a lot when transitioning from direct patient care activities to working in healthcare tech was my direct interaction with patients. So, I was definitely motivated by the idea of merging all of my interests in terms of oncology, technology, and building and researching products that directly impact the patient as an end-user.

What’s the best thing about your job?

It’s been both a rewarding and challenging experience to explore this very early concept of real-world patient-reported outcomes data. There’s plenty of skepticism around the feasibility of implementing tools to track this type of data and whether there can be real benefits for patients outside of a clinical trial setting.  Having the opportunity to work alongside thought-leaders and clinician champions to drive forward innovation has been such an exciting and rewarding experience for me.

What’s the most unique job you ever had before working here?

When I was a pharmacy student, I did an internship at the state prison in Texas, where I was responsible for providing clinical services to male prisoners. I would travel alongside my preceptor to the different locations and the two of us would see prisoners in an all-day, all-female run clinic, managing everything from chronic conditions like diabetes to mental health issues like depression. One day a week we would also provide remote telehealth HIV management services to the patients in segregation. Looking back on this experience, it’s pretty incredible how many barriers we broke through during that time, as we know so many of these problems are still difficult to overcome today – from the ability to reach underserved and vulnerable patient populations, the lack of female leadership in healthcare, access to telehealth services, and even the advanced responsibilities of pharmacists.

What’s the best thing about working for Navigating Cancer?

I’ve worked with other oncology technical platforms, but one really great thing about Navigating Cancer being at the intersection of technology and healthcare is that we are located in this microcosm of a growing tech and biopharma industry where we have access to so many other great resources right here in our local area.

What can you be found doing outside of work?

Outside of work, you can find me working out, hanging out with my French Bulldog pup, Mowgli, and recently I’ve picked back up my childhood hobby in roller skating, as well.

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