Product Design & Research
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Nexa was a company part of Dasa's tech arm. Dasa is a huge health conglomerate in South America, owning some of the biggest clinical diagnostic laboratories in the continent. The company was founded many years ago by a man that ended up becoming one of Brazil's richest people. It sounds like it comes straight out of a movie, though: he, unfortunately, died in 2017 and left the company to his young son (not Kendall Roy though) to manage. As a considerably old-minded company, one of the first things Pedro－the founder's son－wanted to do was to employ technology as a defining piece of the company's operation. Nexa was then created by him with the general goal of thinking about ways to use tech to expand and consolidate even more Dasa's leadership in the healthcare industry.
A couple of close friends from iFood joined Nexa and they ended up inviting me to be a part of it as well. I have always been interested in all things healthcare, such as organic food and vegetarianism, and I wanted to experiment with something different from what I had been doing so far. Everything was different: market segment, company configuration, size of the team, etc. When I joined, Nexa was about 25 to 30 people and had nothing more than a working prototype of a potential product. This product consisted in enabling much more efficient access to lab exam results. Dasa owns most of the clinical analysis labs in Brazil and they weren't at all connected with each other, in a data sense. But... they could be, they're all within the same umbrella, after all. That product was called Livia and it was meant to do just that: connect everything into one source.
At some point, we realized that the most valuable thing we had was hundreds and hundreds of health data points. We started thinking about what we could do with it, and what use case and persona we should optimize for. Nexa had a consultant doctor at that point and he kinda made us lean towards developing a product to guide doctors in examining lab results, convincing us that it was a major problem. We needed something to start with anyway because we knew the potential we had at hand.
Right before I joined, they hired a Head of Design who quite quickly managed to form a team of 6 or 7 designers. It's very unusual to see a small company with a relatively large team of designers. So, with many of us on board, there was plenty of workforces to work around concepts, possibilities, and explorations for proving that Nexa was worthwhile to the whole Dasa group.
I wasn't responsible for the bulk of Livia's work but I helped design the concepts of what it could be. To say the least, I definitely sharpened my prototyping skills while doing Livia!
As Livia already was the name of the product aimed towards patients, as a sign of genuine creativity, we used the same name but with an added Pro for the product targeted at doctors. We managed to pull off an actual MVP, tested with a few close doctors and explored future roads.
Nexa was for sure the company I stayed the least in my career, which wasn't something intended. However, I'm always privileged to be able to make great and strong connections with people and gladly I left with a handful of friends. It was, all in all, a very confusing experience. While I learned a lot, especially about communication, working under a huge corporation such as Dasa is just messy. It wasn't, at least then, a tech-oriented company, so we had to fight too many hard battles which made the overall work quite stressing.
I love the health topic though and I still believe there's so much technology can unlock for better general health care. There are so many simple things that can make huge improvements at how people take care of themselves and that is what ultimately interests me the most, despite all of the machine learning and related possible innovations. While at Nexa, I got to chat with a lot of doctors and definitely learned a lot from them. I also got to work with a very strong product and design team which made me for sure better.
In the end, Nexa was "acquired" by Dasa and the whole team moved there. I learned a lot, met a bunch of cool folks, played with some pretty advanced tech and I hope to see brazilian health care changing for the better and the Dasa team as protagonists of that.
Did you find any typos? Did something specific get your attention? Are you curious about something I went over superficially? If yes, drop me a note somewhere! I'll be happy to connect with you.