Meet Fiona Chung from the Sogeti Life Sciences Team
Sogeti Ireland recently launched a new Life Science department and we would like to take a moment to introduce you to some of the team. Meet Fiona Chung, Quality and Compliance Specialist at Sogeti Ireland and one of our key on the team
Fiona is a quality and compliance specialist with a diverse background of experience. She studied biopharmaceutical science in college and got her early experience working in clinical trials, ensuring compliance during the sterilization process. She’s worked on prototyping medical devices, as well as been involved in manufacturing the industrial components that actually make medical devices. After gaining a much wider exposure to the life sciences industry overall, she settled on completing an honours degree in chemical and biomedical science.
Fiona has a very personal connection to her career that’s twofold. For one, she’s witnessed loved ones accessing inadequate and inaccurate care- to their detriment- out of desperation to find a cure to their health issues. In fact, the availability on the market of drugs and treatments that are not fully approved lead to serious complications for her family members who simply didn’t know any better. In trusting what was available on the market and presuming it was safe to take, their health was seriously compromised and it was an uphill battle to get back on track.
On the other hand, Fiona herself suffers from an autoimmune disease and has had to advocate for herself over the years to make sure she fully understands the impact any potential drugs will have on her. She’s witnessed first-hand how significant (and daunting) the healthcare system is for people who are, in a sense, already in harm’s way. “When people are sick, they’re already vulnerable and in a position where they need to be able to trust the tools and resources that are supposed to be there to help them. You’re supposed to trust that those resources won’t make you sicker. When you need access to healthcare, though, you have to put your faith into a system that you probably don’t understand very well, and you essentially become helpless.”
So, Fiona approaches her responsibilities with an extra sense of duty. She feels it’s up to her, as a part of the healthcare system, to ensure that what can be done right is done right. Most recently, during the Covid-19 crisis Fiona worked tirelessly on a diagnostic test kit project, going well beyond the typical requirements of her job in order to help get it on to the market safely during such a critical time of need for patients. “It was a huge responsibility to be a part of that project, but it was very fulfilling. When you’re watching the news and seeing the impact of Covid all over the globe, it feels very meaningful to be able to contribute something the effort, in whatever way possible.” Her goal is to work towards a position where she can ensure that the healthcare products that are being signed off as safe to enter the market are actually safe to do so. Having seen the impact of unsafe drugs, this is a responsibility she wants to take into her own hands.
Fiona sees a move towards intelligent industry, believing in the ability of AI and automation to transform the manufacturing industry to a more automated one that will provide for more control, more efficient processes, less error and ultimately an industry that can guarantee quality.
“There’s naturally a bit of a negative connotation- when people hear automation, they think of job loss, but actually I believe automation is going to have a positive impact long term by making healthcare cheaper. What good are these advanced solutions of the patients can’t access them? So, by automating parts of the process that can be automated, over time we’re going to be able to help more people achieve a higher quality of life for longer.”
So there you have it! A brand-new department within an already busy consultancy. As our life sciences team grows and expands, we’ll take some time to sit down with other consultants to show off the innovative new projects they’re working on too!