Dr. Tania Martin-Mercado: Leveraging Data for Advancing Scientific Research and Improving Healthcare Outcomes

Dr. Tania Martin-Mercado, CEO, Phronetik, Inc.
Dr. Tania Martin-Mercado | CEO | Phronetik, Inc.

The importance of sound health cannot be mentioned enough. Especially the ongoing pandemic has highlighted the need of good health of the people. Good health and well-being is one of the most important sustainable development goals. Without good health, people cannot function at their full productivity and this is certainly not good from an economic point of view as well. Taking this into consideration, many leaders in healthcare have come forward to bring a significant change in the industry by leveraging technology and innovation. Among those leaders, one such passionate leader is Dr. Tania MartinMercado.

Currently, Dr. Tania is serving as the CEO of Phronetik, Inc. Phronetik delivers high-quality sample processing, extraction, data analysis, and interpretation quickly and securely in order to advance scientific discovery and help guide everyday medical decisions throughout a patient’s life.

In an interview with CIOLook, Dr. Tania shares her journey and her contribution to improving healthcare through Phronetik.

Below are the Highlights of the Interview:

Give us a brief overview of your position at your company, and your journey since inception.

Phronetik is a rapidly growing leader advancing precision medicine by leveraging biotechnology, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence to improve diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and advance scientific research. A few of our core competencies include genomic testing, sequencing services, and technology services.

As a business leader, what is your thought on the changes in the Medical Industry and in R&D after the pandemic?

The pandemic has provided significant opportunities for innovation and transformation in clinical research and patient care. Healthcare providers are seeking new, improved ways to interact with their patients and demanding digital enhancements from their EHR vendors to meet this need. The healthcare delivery cycle has changed and is leaning toward more interoperability and less siloed information. This requires a cultural change within healthcare, more than a technical one.

Research and Development, life science, and pharmaceutical organizations have an increased demand for genomic information as the industry advances personalized therapeutics and precision medicine. These initiatives require strategic planning and focused investment. The pandemic has only accelerated these plans.

What is your opinion on the advancements of Higher Education to improve the offerings with newer medicinal technological developments, especially when it comes to building a population of healthy individuals?

Advancements in higher education should include a focus on digitalization, data, and analytics, and how these apply to patient care in a practical manner. Focusing on healthy behaviors to prevent disease rather than reactive measures to treat disease should be a core component of learning. Knowledge of social determinants of health, equitable care, and a vision and path to treating the whole patient is imperative for the next generation of health and medical professionals.

Which is the best way to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges with your company’s exceptional product and services for urgent needs coming our way?

Phronetik enables organizations to better capture, interpret, and present data from several sources – genomic, biological, structured, unstructured – in order to advance scientific research. The challenge in life science exists in the large amount of data generated from pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical devices, and genomics, and how to leverage this data for improved healthcare, therapeutic, and business outcomes.

As an established healthcare leader, what would be your advice to the budding healthcare leaders aspiring to venture into the medical industry?

My advice is to find an area you are passionate about and dive right in. Learn all you can. Hopefully, the interest in the field stems from a desire to advance healthcare and research. As such, an understanding of public health, access to care, and disease prevention should be at the forefront of the journey.

In what ways do you or your company contribute to the community? If given a chance, what change would you bring in creating a “Community of High Research?

We would like to see a concentrated effort to diversify clinical trials, in partnership with public health professionals, health care providers, and clinical researchers. This effort requires an understanding the historic record of medical experimentation on the most vulnerable and underrepresented communities without consent. There is a well-earned history of distrust among marginalized communities on the topics of clinical research.

One way we tackle this issue is by outwardly advocating within marginalized communities, educating the population, and fostering open and transparent communication. Representation is of utmost importance in working toward trust between marginalized communities and researchers.

How do you envision sustaining your company’s competency in a cutthroat and volatile world of Healthcare?

We do not feel healthcare is cutthroat. There is room for everyone and enough work for all to contribute. Phronetik will continue to promote diversity in clinical trials, improved access to care, and strong data governance.