Data science in healthcare: interview with Inderpreet Singh Kambo


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Could you please introduce yourself for our readers?

Hi, I am Inderpreet Singh Kambo, a mid-senior level professional with deep experience in development of healthcare data and visualization platforms. I have been actively involved in developing various research ideas/concepts into product solutions and currently lead some of the major patient level pharmaceutical data products for IQVIA, a pharmaceutical analytical firm based out of Cambridge (MA, USA).

 

How did you learn about the GHNGN?

My brother, Swarandeep Singh Kambo who also volunteers with the group introduced me to the ‘Global Health Next Generation Network’. In my short experience, I have realized that GHNGN is a very tight-knit network of professionals who are strongly motivated to bring a positive change in the delivery of public healthcare system.

 

How have you progressed from a dentist to a healthcare data enthusiast? What has been your career track?

I graduated from the Maulana Azad Medical College and Dental Hospital in India. With deep interest in the operations side of healthcare, I took a tangential path and gained experience in healthcare product life cycle, data analysis, and operations. I went to the Medical College of Wisconsin to pursue my specialization in healthcare technology management. I honed my skills in the field of product management, technology management, and healthcare operations. Certified in various agile methodologies and data tools, I have gained deep technical and strategic expertise in the fields of patient segmentation, cost sensitivity, pre-launch drug strategy and IMS datasets.

 

What made you transition from clinical dentistry to the field of ‘Data and Intelligence’ in healthcare?

I have always loved to practice dentistry but the whole notion of assuming healthcare as a privilege than a basic necessity made me reflect the need of restructuring healthcare. Right now, the whole healthcare system is conundrum with redundant and sub-optimal practices at every level, and a big fraction of our resources are getting allocated towards cure and treatment than prevention. The scarcity of professionals who truly understand these intertwined technical challenges pushed me to go up and beyond the traditional route of delivering care as a healthcare provider.

 

You have such a varied experience in different domains of pharmaceutics and healthcare overall. Can you share your experiences with respect to global health as perceived in western world vs some of the developing countries?

I grew up in India where many millions are still unable to get fresh drinking water. People have been living in extreme poverty for decades and in many cases do not even have access to basic medical care. People often are so busy worrying about their day-to-day needs that they do not have enough time to care about their medical necessities. I think all such experiences make you feel grateful for the opportunities and resources that one has. In countries like the US and Canada, we take a lot of things for granted. We can order too many lab tests, or prescribe too many drugs to treat even a non-life-threatening situation. I think we have to introspect and ask ourselves if a given procedure or drug is justified and whether the benefits of the drug outweighs its complications. Just because we have the ability to procure a drug or get a treatment done, doesn’t translate into good medical care. In remote areas, where you don’t have such resources, it really teaches you to make sure you do quality clinical exams with minimal resources.

 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I have always believed that healthcare is one sector that has faced serious paucity of professionals who can leverage their healthcare knowledge to abridge the existing inefficiencies. With a rich healthcare background, I well-in-time recognized the lack of innovative strategies for creating affordable healthcare. I aspire to continue working for/with pharma-biotech firms and create strategies for their new product development initiatives. Ultimately, I see my role in leading new drugs to market and making decisions about capital allocation and drug commercialization while leveraging operational and marketing efficiencies. I see myself as a thought leader in this space where I can become a part of the force that would change how healthcare in US would operate.

 

What advice would you like to give to our readers who are interested in breaking into human data science career?

In my personal belief, finding a true mentor who can assess your strengths and weaknesses is the first right step to advance your career. Trying to shadow or assist while you are still at school also helps. It is harder to break into a field where the entry barrier is high without much experience. Learn to devote time to self-study tools and technologies beyond your regular school/college hours in order to be well-versed with the scientific advancements. It is also important to remember that as healthcare technologists, we are constantly replaced by a technology that is faster, scalable and more efficient than what we might have mastered just a year ago. Therefore, it is pivotal to keep learning new tools and technologies to continuously improve our skill sets as the older ones get obsolete.

 

 

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A medical professional by background, Inderpreet works as a senior specialist at IQVIA, a human data science firm utilizing data to make better and informed decisions in healthcare. As a graduate from the esteemed Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette Business School, he is a technology geek who loves to read about latest healthcare technologies. He also holds invitee reviewer positions in various international data journals and magazines besides being a renowned speaker at various universities, startup challenges and conferences on vivid topics of technology adoption in healthcare.

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