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Revolutionizing Healthcare for Expats: Eleni Andreadi Marinakou on Personalized Digital Health with MiMIAT


Her Expat Life recently sat down with Eleni Andreadi Marinakou, the dynamic Chief Operating Officer of MiMIAT, a groundbreaking startup revolutionizing chronic disease management. Eleni shares her journey from global health and HR management to leading MiMIAT's innovative efforts in empowering patients and enhancing communication with healthcare providers. Discover how her diverse background has influenced her approach to driving MiMIAT's mission, her strategies for navigating career transitions, and her vision for the future of personalized healthcare solutions. 1. Eleni, you have a diverse background ranging from global health to HR management. How has your academic and professional journey shaped your approach to your current role at MiMIAT?

I pursued my BSc in Anthropology at UCL and completed my MSc in Global Health at LSE. My academic journey has been instrumental in shaping my professional path and my approach to my current role at MiMIAT. Through my studies, I learned to think critically, conduct methodical research, and approach problems holistically and creatively. The interdisciplinary nature of my education broadened my understanding of global issues, which has been an invaluable asset in my professional development.

 

The value of my academic journey extends beyond the specific health-related knowledge I acquired; it taught me how to think: to approach problems from different angles, to question my preconceived notions of the world and to be open to ideas and interpretations different from my own.

 

My work in HR, though not directly related to my academic background, has provided practical, on-the-job learning experiences that are equally valuable. I developed organizational and administrative skills essential for working effectively, efficiently and productively. This has taught me the difference between academic and practical approaches to problem-solving, an important realization for any recent graduate. Additionally, my HR role significantly improved my communication skills and emphasized the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone.

 

Facing and overcoming new challenges has been crucial for my personal and professional growth. Finally, the transferable skills I learned—organization, communication, and adaptability—have been central to my role at MiMIAT, enabling me to navigate challenging and novel situations confidently.


2. MiMIAT Health is transforming the way chronic diseases are managed. The innovative platform empowers patients and enhances communication with healthcare providers, creating a seamless and engaging health management experience. Please tell us about how MiMIAT was born and developed. 


MiMIAT Health was founded in March 2023 with a mission to transform the lives of individuals living with chronic conditions. The inspiration behind MiMIAT Health came from the personal experiences of the founder, Suraj, who has managed a chronic digestive disease (IBD) since he was 19 years old. Suraj’s journey highlighted the challenges and gaps in chronic condition management, inspiring him to create a solution that blends technology, healthcare, and social impact.

Suraj recognised the broader need for comprehensive and proactive chronic condition management tools that could empower patients and improve their quality of life. The platform integrates health tracking and effective communication between patients and healthcare providers. 

Initially focused on digestive disorders, MiMIAT Health expanded to address a wide range of chronic conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and respiratory conditions. The core idea was to create a user-friendly, comprehensive platform that not only helps patients track symptoms and medication adherence, but also incorporates real-time analytics and gamified health goals to keep patients engaged and motivated. MiMIAT Health aims to transform the patient experience by providing tools that facilitate proactive health management and foster stronger patient-provider relationships.

I joined MiMIAT Health in March 2024 and have had the privilege of working closely with Suraj. As a new startup, working at MiMIAT has been extremely rewarding. The dynamic nature of a startup environment requires agility and a proactive mindset. 

Collaborating with Suraj has been inspiring; his vision and determination are infectious, and together we strive to drive the company’s mission forward. Each day brings new learning experiences, reinforcing our commitment to our mission of empowering individuals with chronic conditions through innovative technological tools and comprehensive support.

3. Transitioning from global health studies to HR and operations roles must have presented unique challenges. How did you adapt your skills and knowledge to fit different sectors, and what advice do you have for others facing similar transitions?


The transition from my studies in Global Health to my role in HR and at MiMIAT was challenging, but it also offered unique opportunities for growth and learning.

 

Along this journey, I developed adaptability, a crucial skill in today’s professional world. Adaptability allows us to handle change, fosters resilience, and enhances problem-solving by encouraging flexible thinking, leading to innovative solutions.

 

For those facing career transitions, here’s my advice:

 

Identify Transferable Skills: Focus on transferable skills applicable to your new role. Critical thinking, research, communication, and problem-solving are universally applicable and valuable.

 

Embrace Continuous Learning: Be open to learning new skills and take advantage of training opportunities, seek mentorship, and stay curious.

 

Leverage Your Diverse Background: Use your unique experiences to offer fresh perspectives and innovative solutions in your new position. A diverse background can be an important asset.

 

Overcome Imposter Syndrome: It’s common to feel like an imposter when starting in a new field. Acknowledge these feelings, remind yourself of your achievements and skills, seek feedback, celebrate small wins, and understand that everyone faces challenges in new roles.

 

Be Patient and Persistent: Transitions can be challenging and may take time. Stay patient, persistent, and confident in your abilities. Each experience is an opportunity for growth and development.


4. You’ve focused significantly on digital health interventions, particularly around vaccine hesitancy. How do you envision the role of personalized digital health solutions evolving in the next few years, especially for expat communities?

Expat communities face unique healthcare challenges, including language barriers, cultural differences, and distinct healthcare system structures. Personalized digital health solutions have the potential to bridge these gaps by offering tailored solutions that meet the distinct needs of diverse populations.

 

Personalized digital health solutions can provide patients with increased access to healthcare services, regardless of their location. Mobile health apps, telemedicine, and online health platforms can offer 24/7 access to medical advice, appointment scheduling, and health monitoring, making it easier for expats to manage their health.

 

These tools can be designed to cater to different languages and cultural contexts, ensuring that expat communities receive relevant and understandable health information. At MiMIAT, one of the features we will be offering is simultaneous in-app translation for doctors and patients. This means that patients can input their health data in their own language, and doctors can read the data in theirs.

 

Finally, digital health solutions can facilitate integration with local healthcare systems, providing expats with continuity of care. These platforms can store and share medical records, enabling healthcare providers to access important health information regardless of the patient's location. This integration ensures that expats receive coordinated care.

 

Looking ahead, digital health solutions will evolve with advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies will enable even more precise tailoring of health interventions and predictive analytics to address potential health issues. The increasing adoption of wearable devices will further enhance real-time health monitoring and proactive healthcare management, providing an even higher level of personalized care.


5. Your volunteer work with The Childhood Trust highlights your dedication to social issues. How has volunteering influenced your professional outlook and personal growth, especially in understanding diverse communities?

Working with the Childhood Trust was a really enriching experience that influenced both my professional outlook and personal growth. Engaging with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and witnessing their challenges firsthand deepened my empathy and compassion, reinforcing my commitment to making a positive impact through my work. Understanding the experiences and difficulties faced by the communities served by The Childhood Trust broadened my perspective and expanded my worldview, driving me to advocate for equitable solutions that address the root causes of social issues. This experience provided me with a sense of purpose and connection to the community, inspiring me to strive for meaningful change.

 

At MiMIAT, we are focused on ensuring that our solutions are equitable and accessible to those who will benefit the most, with providers bearing the cost of adoption rather than the patient. One of the challenges with digital health solutions is that they are often more easily and readily adopted by the financially fortunate. To counteract this, we are committed to designing our tools to be user-friendly and affordable, ensuring that even the most vulnerable populations can access quality healthcare. By prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility, we aim to bridge the healthcare gap and create a more equitable system for all.

 

6. With extensive credentials from esteemed institutions like LSE, UCL, and recent specializations in digital health and AI, how do you manage to balance continuous learning with your professional responsibilities and personal life?


Balancing continuous learning with professional responsibilities and personal life is certainly a challenge, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips that have helped me to maintain this balance:

 

Acceptance and Adaptability: One lesson I've learned is that not every day will be equally productive, and that's okay. I focus on doing my best on any given day and embrace the concept of 1% improvements, which is discussed in the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. This idea emphasizes that small, consistent progress can lead to significant long-term gains. By aiming for just a 1% improvement each day, I ensure steady progress without overwhelming myself.

 

Breaking Down Tasks: When faced with challenging projects, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. To address this, I break down larger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. This makes it easier to tackle each component step by step. By focusing on one small task at a time, I maintain consistency and achieve my goals more efficiently.

 

Three Non-Negotiable Tasks: Inspired by Grace Beverly, I prioritize three non-negotiable tasks each day. These are the tasks that must be completed, no matter what. By identifying and focusing on these key priorities, I ensure that essential work gets done, even on less productive days.

 

Self-Care and Health: Taking care of our health and well-being is paramount to avoiding burnout and maintaining productivity. I prioritize adequate sleep, regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Additionally, I make time for activities that I enjoy, such as spending time with friends.

 

Continuous Learning: To stay current with advancements in digital health and AI, I integrate learning into my daily routine. I set aside time for reading research papers and participating in online courses. By treating learning as an essential part of my schedule, I stay updated without compromising my professional duties.


7. As someone who has lived and studied in various countries, what insights have you gained about navigating cultural differences, and how have these experiences informed your work in global health and HR?


Living and studying in both Greece and the UK have given me invaluable insights that have shaped both my personal and professional life. These experiences have shown me the importance of looking at issues from all angles and appreciating the different perspectives that make our understanding of the world richer. 


Studying Anthropology really cemented this type of thinking for me early on. I have always been fascinated by how our understanding of the world is socially constructed and intrinsically linked to personal experiences. Seeing the world through this lens has pushed me to question deeply held assumptions about the world and to dig into why we behave and function as we do in society. 


This perspective has not only enhanced my critical thinking skills but also made me more open-minded. Living abroad has taught me that every interaction is an opportunity to learn or gain something valuable. Engaging with people who have different experiences from our own enriches our understanding of the world and enhances our lives.


8. In your role, what are some of the most significant challenges you’ve faced, particularly regarding managing diverse teams, and what strategies have you found most effective?

Working with diverse teams has generally been a smooth experience for me. At MiMIAT, our cooperation has been seamless, and our diverse backgrounds have proven to be assets in driving innovation and success.


One of the key strategies behind our fruitful collaboration is maintaining open and honest communication. It is crucial to create an environment where everyone feels respected and comfortable sharing their ideas and unique perspectives. Mutual respect and valuing each person’s viewpoints are essential to building trust and cooperation within any team. Flexibility and adaptability are also crucial, allowing us to learn from each other and address challenges in novel ways.


By remaining open to different ways of thinking and working, it becomes easier to accommodate the needs of a diverse team and address any challenges that arise.


9. Your recent completion of a specialization in AI in Healthcare suggests a keen interest in technology. How do you see AI transforming healthcare delivery and what are the potential implications for expat communities?

AI is revolutionizing healthcare in many ways, promising substantial impact across various fields. From automated screening and diagnosis to adaptive clinical trials, precision medicine, wearable technology, genomic analysis, and drug discovery, AI will redefine the healthcare landscape.

 

AI has the potential to make healthcare delivery more personalized, accessible, efficient, and integrated. One of the most transformative aspects of AI in healthcare is its ability to optimize healthcare delivery. AI can help healthcare providers focus more on patient care by increasing operational efficiency, streamlining administrative tasks, and optimizing resource allocation. AI can enhance diagnostic accuracy, facilitate continuous health, monitoring, and improve preventative care.


This capability is crucial for individuals who frequently move between countries or regions, as it allows their medical history to be easily accessible to any healthcare provider they visit. Such integration can prevent gaps in treatment and ensure that expats receive consistent and informed care. The ability to receive personalized treatment based on one's medical history and current health data, regardless of location, is revolutionary for many expats who may have previously struggled with fragmented healthcare systems.

 

However, the development of AI in healthcare also brings ethical considerations to the forefront. Protecting sensitive patient data is paramount, and the use of AI must be transparent, accountable, and equitable. Ensuring that AI systems do not perpetuate biases or inequalities is critical to realizing their full potential. By addressing the associated challenges, we can ensure that the benefits of AI are realized equitably and ethically, harnessing the potential of AI to transform healthcare for all.


10. As a woman excelling in both global health and corporate environments, what advice do you have for female expats and entrepreneurs looking to assert themselves and succeed in traditionally male-dominated fields?


Women face unique challenges when navigating traditionally male-dominated fields, but there are many ways in which we can address these to excel in any environment. Here are some tips that really helped me:

 

Believe in Yourself: This is something that I have struggled with and have been actively working on. Self-doubt can be a significant barrier to achieving your goals and it’s so important to believe in your skills, knowledge and the value that you bring to the table. One way to do this, is to remind yourself of your previous successes, of difficulties you have successfully overcome and to challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone.

 

Seek Mentorship and Support Networks: Connect with other women who have succeeded in your field. Mentors can provide guidance, support and valuable advice. This can also foster a sense of community and belonging, which can be very valuable for expats.

 

 Be Resilient and Persistent: Setbacks are bound to happen in all aspects of our lives. When obstacles arise, it’s important that we learn from mistakes, adapt and continue moving forward.

 

Communicate Assertively: Effective communication is important in any field. It’s important to communicate clearly, concisely and confidently when advancing your career. Don’t be afraid to speak up and assert your ideas.

11. What are your future aspirations, both professionally and personally? Are there any specific projects or areas you are passionate about exploring further, particularly within the realms of global health and digital innovation?

In terms of my professional aspirations, I am deeply committed to advancing our success at MiMIAT. This role is relatively new for me, and I am passionate about its potential. I believe in our mission and vision, and I am dedicated to working hard to ensure our collective success. This position offers a unique opportunity for me to improve my professional skills and abilities while contributing to meaningful advancements in global health and digital innovation. The future holds so much promise, and I am excited to see where this journey will take us.

 

As for my personal aspirations, I have a strong desire to travel more! My recent trip to Peru was a life-changing experience. The vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history left a strong impression on me. I hope to visit many more countries in the future, immersing myself in diverse cultures and beautiful environments.

 

Additionally, I am passionate about personal growth and lifelong learning. I plan to continue exploring new fields and acquiring new skills, whether through formal education, workshops, or simply through new experiences. This ongoing journey of learning not only enhances my professional capabilities but also fulfills me on a personal level.


Find out more about MiMIAT Health here: https://mimiathealth.com/



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