We talked to Michelle Petersen of Healthinnovations, a publication that covers current & future innovation, and here is what she said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Michelle Petersen: Thank you so much for asking, guys. My family has not fared well during the pandemic as a lot of them work in healthcare in patient-facing roles, overseeing hundreds of staff. As a result, the majority of my immediate relations contracted COVID-19. Unfortunately, it’s a massive testament to the lack of resources and extremely trying circumstances both the NHS and private health sector are facing at the moment. Thankfully they have all recovered; however, the elderly members are still suffering the after-effects and damage of the disease. How is everyone else doing out there?
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Healthinnovations.
Michelle Petersen: Well, I started as an apprentice in a private dental laboratory straight out of school, making medical devices by hand for human use. As my mother worked there as a cleaner, I had grown-up running around this lab, fascinated by the intricacy of the work and scientific language that abounded between its employees. As part of my apprenticeship there, I was sponsored through college. After this, I was accepted into one of only two universities in the UK at that time that offered my highly specialized degree.
Subsequently, I went on to gain NHS sponsorship for the final two-years of my Dental Technology Hons degree, where I was placed in the field to work as a Medical Technical Officer(MTO). These positions included the Preston Hospital Maxillo-Facial Ward, The Manchester Dental Hospital, and the Eastman Dental Hospital Centre of Excellence, where I worked as a graded Medical Technical Officer. Next, I gained a position at Oxford University, where I taught undergraduate students physical chemistry and biological-based physics for four-years in the practical laboratory. This was really where I gained my research wings and passion for science. After I made my fortune in London building pharmaceutical events, I launched Healthinnovations, the passion of my life.
How does Healthinnovations innovate?
Michelle Petersen: Healthinnovations has been a referenced source of current and future innovations in health for blue-chip and academic organizations around the world for over a decade. To be clear, I don’t innovate, the talented health innovator community around the world does that. I just ‘translate’ their work for a mainstream audience, ensuring that the latest, verified clinical trials and white papers are being reported at the grassroots level. I am one of many great publications enabling the dissemination of the latest medical research to patients across the globe. I admire so many of my peers in this space and follow everything they write and research. It is in this way I stay ahead of the curve to help empower people worldwide.
Where I differ slightly is that I have developed a standardized scientific article style that mirrors the structure of the white paper. This means that research and mainstream communities alike find my articles flow logically and are incredibly easy to read.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Michelle Petersen: As I’m a writer, my business has not been that badly affected. I can work from anywhere and don’t need fancy office spaces or facades, for this is not what I’m about. If anything, Healthinnovations is gaining more recognition, sparking more conversation with my fellow patients online, and working with more publications, which I’m completely in awe of. This has been a great time for innovation in the face of COVID by just doing what I always do, listening to health innovators. As a result, my fellow writers, readers, and researchers tell me what I need to be reporting on. This is why it’s just so important to really speak with them, really interact with them. People are more than a demographic because stats, as important as they are, are still only two-dimensional and without flesh.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Michelle Petersen: No, once you listen to your followers and readers and let these experts guide you, it’s all very simple. Saturated by COVID news, they’ll lead you to other key areas of interest and investment; never underestimate them!.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Michelle Petersen: As Healthinnovations is primarily a publication, I’ve tightened up my SEO game… A lot. I don’t manage anyone and am more than happy to be published and overseen by far more experienced editors and companies. It’s an honor to work with them. For instance, I’m currently a staff writer at Lybotics, where I’ve been given the privilege of covering the current socio-politico stratification within the country to help provide a record of a system currently undergoing great change. Much of my work with this company so far is unprecedented, with the Libyan people happy to be open and frank with me. It is a gift to tell their story and work with a company such as Lybotics who innovates science and technology throughout Libya.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Michelle Petersen: Writing at my level is an art form. Competitiveness or aggressive game plans don’t really enter the picture. I respect my fellow writers and am happy to read their versions of my articles, which is how you get better. I’m currently part of a really exciting writers’ studio at ZME Science, and watching these guys write with such speed and acumen is truly a joy; Their voracious talent regularly attracts over 900 000 readers per month. I’m constantly in wonderment to be writing alongside them.
I mean, would a painter view another’s painter’s work as something to beat or have more shows? Of course not; this is not how fellow writers view each other. We enjoy and support each other, pushing each other’s work into other realms. It’s in this way we learn from one another.
Your final thoughts?
Michelle Petersen: Listen to people; they might know more than you…
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