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  • Writer's pictureENTRUST

Women in Science Interview with Barbara Guerra, PARTICLE



“Signaling the Women in Science Day is illustrative of how PARTICLE and the ENTRUST partners are committed to closing the gender gap in cybersecurity, creating in ENTRUST an environment that involves female researchers as skilled innovation agents.”


Can you share a bit about your background and journey in the field of digital healthcare? 


I have a degree in Political Science and spent the majority of my professional life in the Marketing and Communication departments of software engineering companies that were active in the defence, security and public safety domains, including in EU research and innovation networks and programmes.


In PARTICLE, the business development and marketing work being performed in collaboration with practitioners in public safety and emergency healthcare services has led to the development of innovative solutions in the field of digital healthcare, namely of a remote patient monitoring system that enables care teams to accompany the evolution of patients’ conditions while they are at home. It also supports the continuous monitoring of patients in transit to the hospital. This system is deployed at a public hospital in Portugal serving a population of 400 thousand citizens, to support the domiciliary hospitalisation unit. 


Since PARTICLE’s collaboration with the Hospital started, I have been liaising with the medical teams and the engineering team to ensure that PARTICLE’s system meets their requirements and expectations, to the benefit of the citizens using this novel service. 


In your opinion, what unique perspectives do women bring to the field of science? 


I believe that women have an exceptional ability to engage in collaborative and collective action, as well as to perform creative thinking when addressing challenges and building innovative out-of-the-box solutions that can make a difference in society’s life. It is known that gender-diverse teams usually outperform those that are not gender diverse, and this is particularly relevant when dealing with themes that are specific to the female condition, in which women have unique perspectives to better understand and counter culture-specific barriers hindering women’s participation in science and technology. Importantly, having women in leading roles in research, science and technology is particularly significant as encouraging or mentoring beacons to young women also pursuing careers in science and technology. 


Can you provide some insights into your role within the ENTRUST project? 

 

My role in the ENTRUST project is two-folded: first, to contribute to the development of capacity in gendered innovations in cybersecurity for the healthcare ecosystem, ensuring that ENTRUST results observe the mitigation of gender-biased elements; then, to improve science and technology communication when addressing general public audiences, combining clarity with wider reach and accessibility, thus sparking broad interest and support for ENTRUST’s research. In the process, the ENTRUST Action will help to close the gender gap in science and technology industries and raise the level of gender equity in the project.  

 

What inspired you to contribute to the ENTRUST project's mission of enhancing security and trust management for Connected Medical Devices in the healthcare sector? 

 

Dealing with healthcare professionals and hospital administrators, it becomes rapidly obvious that security, privacy and trust in technological innovations are key aspects guiding users to experiment, adopt and endorse connected medical devices. As PARTICLE specialises in the offer of advanced Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) health and care monitoring solutions, the enhancement of cybersecurity, privacy protection and trust features in our company portfolio solutions and services is a leading priority for optimum customer satisfaction. As the head of business development, I understand how ENTRUST’s proposition meets the high-level security standards that PARTICLE upholds in its portfolio, hence it served as an inspiring incentive to support the ENTRUST project’s mission.  

 

As someone actively involved in the ENTRUST project, what advice would you offer to young women who are aspiring to enter the fields of digital healthcare, cybersecurity, or similar domains? 

 

To these young women, I would encourage them to engage with, use abundantly and benefit from the unprecedent amount of resources that are now in place to advance gender equity in engineering and technology industries. Leveraging on today’s mindset urging the fight against gender disparity in science and technology, young women aspiring to enter these work fields need to identify a sponsor or a mentor in the early stages of the career who provides invaluable guidance and counsel on how to best explore prevalent opportunities to further develop own talent and skillsets, grow leadership prowess and advance towards own full potential. 

 

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