Medtronics Chantal McMahon sees the impact of her work

Medtronic's Chantal McMahon sees the impact of her work

 March 20, 2019

Medtronic Data Science Product Development Manager, Chantal McMahon, didn’t set out to lead a team of data scientists. But then again, a lot of people currently working in data science didn’t set out with that intention—the field is too new.

Chantal’s work in data science began in earnest in graduate school while pursuing her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and neuro engineering. She researched how the spinal cord knows when and how to control movement.

“I was recording from hundreds of active neurons of the spinal cord and leg muscles at the same time,” she says. “I had to quickly learn how to process, manage and analyze data in order to understand the functional connectivity between the spinal cord and the muscles controlling walking.”

Focusing on data, but also on people

Today, Chantal’s focus is still very much on data, but also on people. As a Data Science Product Development Manager in the Medtronic Diabetes group, she’s leading a team of data scientists focused on making diabetes easier to live with.

“More than 422 million adults suffer from diabetes globally, and they face a daily burden of tracking blood sugar, what they eat, and other symptoms,” says Chantal.

“Worse yet, if they don’t have good control of their blood sugar, people with diabetes face serious complications like cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, premature death and more.”

Currently, Chantal and her team are using their “math magic” to find insights and patterns in patient behaviors and blood sugar levels to help improve awareness and diabetes outcomes with the Sugar.IQ™ diabetes assistant and other programs such as the MiniMed™ 670G hybrid closed loop system.

She recently co-authored an article on the relationship of Hemoglobin A1c to Time-In-Range that explored the connections between these two important metrics. Chantal is also part of a team of industry and academic experts working along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to consider a software-as-a-medical-device pre-certification program.

Being closer to the end user

When Chantal joined Medtronic, she was interested in being closer to the end user.

“Basic research like what I was doing in graduate school is crucial in understanding how and why diseases and interventions impact outcomes,” she says. “But I wanted to be able to work in a team where we can see the impact of our work and know that we are helping people.”

The ultimate goal for Chantal and her team is to remove more of the burden from patients coping with diabetes.

She adds: “We want to get to place where patients don’t have to manually input data to gain insights from their devices. How can we use our devices for outcomes-driven research and impact disease management? How can we help patients improve their time in range and A1c?” With advances in new types of voice recognition and natural language processing, the possibilities are only growing.”

Chantal loves having the capability to be on the cutting edge of technology growth.

“Being in the health care space is so rewarding,” she concludes. “It’s math and context that improves lives.”

Improve lives through a career with Medtronic

If you like the sound of enjoying a rewarding career like Chantal’s which makes a different to people’s lives, search and apply for opportunities with Medtronic today.


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