Staff Spotlight: Mark Ware
12th November 2020 | QuantuMDx Team
Meet Mark Ware, Customer Care and Training Manager at QuantuMDx.
When did you start working at QuantuMDx?
I started as a full-time employee at QuantuMDx in September 2017 after having worked as a consultant since the end of 2016.
What does your role involve?
My role has evolved as QuantuMDx has moved from research and development into commercialisation of our first products. However, much of my work has been centred on the end-user experience, from market research, to product design and usability testing, to providing after sales support and product training.
What excites you the most about your role at QuantuMDx?
QuantuMDx’s strong focus on designing products with a positive end-user experience and broadening access to high-quality diagnostics in emerging markets are both very appealing aspects of my work. The company’s core values are present throughout the company and it shows in the product designs. We strive to make all our products easily accessible, even for users with limited training, all while keeping costs within reach of low and middle income customers.
What are the biggest challenges working at QuantuMDx/working in this field?
The molecular diagnostics market is incredibly competitive, so trying to find ways to differentiate our products in this space is challenging. That’s why QuantuMDx have put a so much effort into identifying markets that have long been underserved but where the need is great and the potential for impact is high. The culmination of this effort is the Q-POC platform, an easy to use, affordable molecular diagnostics platform that delivers rapid, lab-quality results at or near the patient’s bedside. Ensuring that we deliver in the Q-POC’s potential is a huge task for a company of any size, and particularly so for a growing company like QuantuMDx.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
My career has provided me with many fine moments, so picking just one is a challenge. But I would say the opportunity to travel to some very remote corners of the world to meet with healthcare workers in those locations has been very rewarding. Learning about and witnessing first-hand the challenges these dedicated workers face each day and working with them to identify what tools they need to deliver the level of care they want for their patients has been very rewarding.
What has been your favourite QuantuMDx moment?
My favorite QuantuMDx moment must be the trip I took to India to visit a wide variety diagnostics lab around the country. India is an incredible country with amazing sites and people. We travelled from the foothills of the Himalayas and headwaters of the Ganges River to New Delhi, to quite remote cities in rural areas of south. Our travel schedule was quite tight and we faced more than a few hiccups, but the experience and knowledge gained was well worth it.
Why is QuantuMDx such a great place to work?
It might seem very cliché to say, but it really is the people I work with. Everyone at the company is incredibly talented and enthusiastic about the company’s mission to develop products that will make a real impact on people’s lives.
What are you looking forward to achieving with QuantuMDx over the coming year?
2021 will be a very big year for QuantuMDx. We recently released our first product into the market, a SARS-CoV-2 lab test, and early next year we will be launching our flagship point of care molecular diagnostics platform, the Q-POC. There remains much to do to get the company ready for this major milestone, but the journey has been a great learning experience so far.
And what about over the coming years?
The launch of the Q-POC platform will provide many opportunities to expand into new markets as we increase our test menu offerings. As the company grows and our customer base broadens, we hope to see the Q-POC reaching into ever more remote locations. Maintaining our highest level of customer support and service in these locations will be a major challenge, but one we have been planning for and look forward to tackling.
Who have been your role models in life and why?
I have been fortunate to have had so many wonderful, talented people to learn from and admire in my life. My parents raised me with a set of core values and beliefs centred on helping others and treating everyone with respect and empathy. I have also had so many wonderful teachers, managers and colleagues along the way and each has left their mark on who I am and what I want to give back to the world.
If there was one prolific scientist, historical or present, that you’d like to work with, who would it be and why?
This is such an impossible question to answer, so let me just narrow it down to some of the many talented researchers who have discovered the foundational techniques we rely on in molecular biological research and diagnostics. To have the opportunity to work with pioneers who discovered or invented PCR, CRISPR, siRNA, gene transfer and DNA sequencing would have been amazing. These tools have been central to the current state of modern biological research and medicine, it is hard to imagine where we would be had they not been discovered.
What are your interests outside of work?
I love the outdoors. Having grown up on the west coast of Canada, mountains and the sea are in my blood and I enjoy any opportunity to explore them. My favourites are snowboarding, backpacking, mountain biking, and sea kayaking.
Tell us something surprising about yourself.
I almost took a very different career path in my youth. I had a real talent for the sciences growing up, but I also had a strong passion for the visual arts. I had a difficult decision to make when choosing my post-secondary training. Biological sciences won out in the end, but I still indulge my interest in sketching and woodworking as hobbies.
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