R&D director shares his passion for digital healthcare and diversity
An interview with Karthik Krishnakumar, director of Renal Care Research & Development - Digital Health
Q: Tell me about your current role at Baxter. What part does digital healthcare delivery play in your work?
Karthik: Currently, I lead our digital initiatives related to renal care product research and development. My group works closely with product marketing, clinical and therapy teams to identify the technological building blocks needed to deliver digital health services throughout the continuum of care, from prevention to recovery. For us, digital healthcare is all about developing software solutions and leveraging data to serve our patients and customers by maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of our products and therapies.
Q: What excites you most about your role?
Karthik: I’m especially excited about this role because I believe digital initiatives can make a tremendous difference in healthcare worldwide. Only a decade ago, working from home was much less common, but today, we have the necessary tools and technology to support remote workers extremely well. This is even more evident during the COVID-19 epidemic where many of us are working remotely across the world and doing so efficiently. Digital health can make a tremendous impact on lives by allowing people to access the same therapies and have similar care — whether in a hospital, a healthcare clinic, or the patient’s home — anywhere in the world.
Q: How do you find Baxter as a place to work?
Karthik: In my four years at Baxter, I’ve witnessed greater and broader innovation than at any other company I’ve worked for. We aren’t solely focused on technological innovation; we’re also innovating our business processes, our ways of work, and our manufacturing techniques. Between our emphasis on innovation and the exciting cultural transformation we’re undergoing, I think Baxter is a terrific place to be.
Q: You’re also the co-president of the Asian Leadership Network (ALN), one of Baxter's eight Business Resource Groups. What is ALN’s purpose and what aspects of it are you proudest of?
Karthik: Our Business Resource Groups are a key part of cultivating an inclusive and diverse culture at Baxter. The purpose of ALN is to promote a sense of community and empowerment for employees of Asian descent to excel at Baxter, which we accomplish through cultural, awareness-raising, and community outreach activities. My favorite part about our work is knowing that we’re contributing to Baxter’s goal of being a top-quartile Best Place to Work and we’re having a lot of fun doing it.
During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May, we came up with creative ways to celebrate, even though we couldn’t be together in person. Through our virtual meeting platforms, we held a dance fitness class, a yoga session, and an Indian art workshop. We also shared a lot of great content on Baxter’s internal social media channel, including some really impactful stories of how Baxter is saving and sustaining lives of patients of Asian descent. I’m proud of our group for coming through with some outstanding programming through innovation and dedication.