What led you to choose science and/or engineering as a career, particularly in the medical device field?
When I was 18, I joined an elite military program in the IDF called “Talpiot.” It was a highly exclusive program training 40 cadets, selected from a pool of 5,000 candidates, to become technological leaders in the security sector. The program includes a BSc degree in physics and mathematics and wide-ranging military training. According to Forbes, “‘Serving in Talpiot’ is like having a Rhodes scholarship, a presidential fellowship, and a Harvard M.B.A. rolled into one.”
After 3.5 years, I was recognized as the top of my Talpiot class and joined the special technological unit of the intelligence corps. I spent six years there, where I led complex and strategic projects involving a variety of technical disciplines and managed a cybersecurity department that employed some of Israel’s best software engineers.
I spent over 10 years in the IDF, and that’s where I developed my passion for leadership, my interest in solving hard and complex problems, and my aspiration to make a difference and work for a good cause. That’s also where I met some of the smartest people I know, who work with me today at Sight Diagnostics.
What has been your most rewarding moment/accomplishment as an engineer/scientist in the medical field?
In my role at Sight Diagnostics, I’ve been able to lead the R&D team in developing products that provide patients with access to fast, accurate, and convenient blood testing that delivers lab-grade results in minutes. One of these products, Sight OLO, delivers complete blood count (CBC), which is one of the most essential and ubiquitous tests that provide a picture of an individual’s health. Sight OLO is simple and easy to use, only requiring two drops of blood from a finger prick or venous sample. The blood is placed into a disposable test-kit cartridge, which is then captured by Sight’s computer vision technology, producing over 1,000 highly detailed images of the blood. These images are then analyzed by proprietary machine learning algorithms, to measure, classify, and count the different blood cells and identify abnormalities in the blood. Sight OLO is currently operating in hospitals and clinics across five continents to transform healthcare and improve the patient experience all over the world.
One of the biggest accomplishments in this role has been seeing Sight OLO through the 510(k) clearance from the FDA. This is one of the strictest and most robust regulatory processes in the world, and it took years of scientific research and validation to ensure that our product met these standards. I’m honored that, with this clearance, we’ve been able to deliver Sight OLO to laboratories in the U.S. run by hospitals, diagnostic providers, and outpatient clinics, and ultimately help improve patient care.
What advice would you give to other women looking to work in biomedical engineering and science?
I’ll start with a personal story. Before I signed the contract to join Sight Diagnostics as VP of R&D, I notified the CEO of Sight, Yossi Pollak, that I was three months pregnant. This news didn’t raise any concerns or pose any problems. Yossi congratulated me and then promptly hired me. I was relieved because I know this isn’t the case for some women.
I think the real difficulty that prevents young women from joining this industry is the challenge to combine work with motherhood. So, my advice to women is to believe that you are capable of doing both. Know that you are deserving of your dreams and don’t be afraid of what it takes to reach them.
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