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Verana Spotlight: Kevin Wood; Data Insights and AI Team

Author: Verana Health
July 2019

Kevin Wood, MS, is a data scientist on Verana Health data science and insights team.

What do you do at Verana Health?

I am a data scientist; I started at Verana Health last year on the Clinical Data Science team and recently switched to the Data Insights and AI team. As a part of Data Insights and AI, I primarily mine our data for insights to help our clients, which are generally life science companies, make better decisions and accelerate in their innovations to bring products to market faster.

On the Clinical Data Science team, I worked on market research projects to help life science companies understand how often their products are used in the real world. I also worked on an exciting clinical trial acceleration project to help find patients who may match with certain clinical trials. A large part of data science at Verana is implementing real-world evidence studies to help  companies understand how well their product works in patients in the real world. Often in a real-world setting, treatments don’t behave like they do in a controlled clinical trial. At Verana, with our access to real-world data, we can actually see what happens in real life, and can determine if a treatment is really doing what it’s supposed to do.

One of the reasons I switched from Clinical Data Science to Data Insights and AI is that I’m interested in applying more upstream algorithmic-focused methodologies to my work. The cool thing about Verana is that it allowed me to grow with the company, because now I can apply what I learned from my Clinical Data Science work to my Data Insights and AI work, while learning and applying new skills. 

Tell us about your background. How did you get interested in this work?

I studied biology in college, and after I graduated I worked with my thesis advisor for two years doing neurochemistry research to study antidepressant efficacy at the preclinical trial stage. My research involved a lot of data; the lab collected billions of data points and I would have to mine it, analyze it, and make sense of it. I became really interested in statistics and working with large data sets, and I realized I wanted to pursue data science instead of pure neuroscience. 

Why did you decide to join Verana?

I really love that at Verana we can have an impact on the world by helping patients have access to new therapies and live a healthier life. At Verana I also get the chance to learn new things from many different people. For example, if you are on the Clinical Data Science team and you’re interested in learning the clinical aspects of disease, you will be able to learn a lot of new information and really specific domain knowledge through working with physicians and leaders in the industry. 

What should someone who is thinking of joining Verana know?

Verana has a strong community. Here we get to learn so much from other people and everyone is super helpful. There’s a lot of different teams, whether it be the platform team, or clinical data science, sales, or data science and AI, and we all work together as a big community. There’s a lot of camaraderie and teamwork.

Share a fun fact about you!

I collect gemstones and have a fairly large collection (both faceted and rough)!

Interested in learning about opportunities to join the Verana Data Science team? View a list of open opportunities here.