Divya Chhabra of Dosis: “Don’t get discouraged!”

Don’t get discouraged! The only way to enact change is to be a part of it. As more women enter and stay in the field, more will be comfortable entering and staying in the field. As part of my series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Divya Chhabra […]

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Don’t get discouraged! The only way to enact change is to be a part of it. As more women enter and stay in the field, more will be comfortable entering and staying in the field.

As part of my series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Divya Chhabra of Dosis.

Before starting Dosis, Divya was a Product Manager for B2B and B2C products at athenahealth. She’s passionate about building great products that create a positive change in people’s lives. She received her B.S. in Biological Engineering from MIT.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?

Independent business ownership has always been an important part of my family and my upbringing. 
 As a child, I watched my mother and father struggle to run their own independent business while raising me and my brother, who is also the co-founder of Dosis. We learned very early on that if you find the right people to count on, while working very hard on a mission that everyone on your team believes in, you really can overcome difficult challenges. I also saw that owning their own business gave my parents a certain flexibility and autonomy that is difficult to achieve while having a job.

When I graduated college, like many people, I started a job, but a few years in, I gained a better appreciation for the benefits of business ownership that I’m sure my parents must have seen when they decided to start their business when I was a kid. So, my brother and I ultimately decided that it was time to take the plunge together and see if this could work. We put together our shared expertise — his in running a closely held business and mine in the healthcare space — and thought why not tackle something that affects millions of people worldwide, but also presents the kinds of interesting challenges that we both seek out as engineers.

Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now? 
Right now, we are working on expanding our personalized dosing offering to include personalized dosing for IV Iron and drugs used to treat Mineral Bone Disease (calcimimetics, phosphate binders and Vitamin D).

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? 
My brother, Shiv. There is nothing like being able to work with someone that you have the utmost respect for. Our partnership allows for the ability to feel free to contribute at the highest level when we are together. Family is everything to me and without the support that Shiv and I give each other, Dosis would not have become the reality that it is today.

What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?

AI technology is fast-paced and ever-changing.

AI has the ability to change lives, evident in the way we use the technology for patient dosing.

AI is being recognized as one of the top areas of research to date.

AI can be applicable to almost every industry- from healthcare to finance to everywhere in between.

AI is integrating almost seamlessly into our daily lives, whether we realize it or not.

What are the 5 things that concern you about the AI industry? Why?

Using AI in application is much more difficult than utilizing it conceptually.

The human factor is still needed. We can’t solely rely on the use of technology in everyday life.

Privacy and security, especially in healthcare, is crucial.

Adoption and trust of AI-powered technologies is still relatively low in healthcare.

Determining in what areas AI is legitimately useful is still an ongoing effort.

As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI has the future potential to pose a danger to humanity. What is your position about this?

This can develop into a legitimate issue and I strongly believe that, as a society, we need to get ahead of this before it becomes a real concern.

What can be done to prevent such concerns from materializing? And what can be done to assure the public that there is nothing to be concerned about?

Similar to how we have international agreements that govern intellectual property rights, corrupt practices and money laundering, trade, and other important aspects of a functioning society, we likely also need to create international standards and agreements that address the present need for AI regulation.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?

This is central to our day-to-day as a company. Dosis’s mission is to use the power of artificial intelligence to improve individual patient care, thereby lowering drug exposure and increasing dose efficiency. This in turn results in a reduced likelihood of adverse drug events and lowered healthcare costs.

As you know, there are not that many women in your industry. Can you share 3 things that you would advise to other women in the AI space to thrive?

Don’t get discouraged! The only way to enact change is to be a part of it. As more women enter and stay in the field, more will be comfortable entering and staying in the field.

Keep in touch with old classmates and colleagues. They are likely to have valuable advice and experience as you navigate through your career.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Science embodies trial and error. Being an active member of the AI industry almost always requires failure.

Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?

Representation. It is no different in the AI industry than it is in any other. Enabling more women to join the industry will create a catalyst of change. However, diversity in numbers alone is not enough. A greater emphasis on inclusion is crucial to ensuring women don’t get left behind in this field.

What is your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that had relevance to your own life?

“Someday is made of a thousand tiny nows.” I saw this quote in a small shop in New Hampshire one summer. It really struck a chord with me with me — so often, we tell ourselves “someday I’ll do XYZ.” This is a reminder to take the leap and try out today what you may be putting off, whether it is trying a new recipe or going on that weekend trip.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Dosis is starting a movement as we speak. Personalized dosing is shifting the way we think about administering medicine. Personalized dosing enables providers to deliver care to live specifically tailored to patients. Our approach can be applied to beyond just chronic anemia. Within the next 5 years, I see us bringing to life a dosing platform for several other chronically administered drugs.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dchhabra1/

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