Just over two weeks into her internship at Philips, McMaster Master of Science in Global Health graduate Pearl Vyas was hired full-time as Product Researcher.
“The work I do is unbelievable,” says Vyas. “I get to sit in a room with marketing, engineers, designers, consumer specialists and give my input on any and all products. We build together and I get to use my medical knowledge as well as my innovations perspective,” she explains.
Vyas credits the MSc Global Health program with helping to steer her into this “dream job.” Before joining the program, she earned an Medical degree from Medical University of the Americas, and was looking to, as she puts it, “transition from a sole medical perspective to a role that incorporates ideas of design, business strategy and ethically-sound production and dissemination of technology.” The program, and specifically an exchange to Maastricht University, offered the perfect opportunity.
“The Innovations stream at Maastricht helped to mold my ideas about what it means to practice as a global health professional looking to make a large impact on health care outcomes,” says Vyas, who went on to complete her field practicum at Philips, working in the area of consumer lifestyle, in the mother and child care department.
In addition to her work at Philips, Vyas keeps herself busy with several side projects, which include providing free consultation to COMDIS-HSD, Research & Development for Effective Health Service Delivery—an organization that performs R&D projects in seven low income countries across Asia and Africa. “I’m assisting with a project in the Kingdom of Swaziland, and my role involves the complete information redesign of a desk guide focusing on Hypertension and Diabetes management,” says Vyas, explaining that the project’s aim is to decentralize Non-communicable Disease (NCD). Her desk guide redesign will be distributed to all public health centers in the country of Swaziland in the next couple of years.
Vyas looks forward to continuing to integrate herself into the world of medical technology and innovation by collaborating with both large companies and small start-ups.
“My interest lies in exploring mobile, web, sensors and wearables, EMR and telemedicine, she says, adding, "because these technologies can improve accessibility, increase productivity and put the most up-to-date, evidence-based information at the forefront of how health care is practiced in all settings.”