Kim Moran, UCB’s U.S. Head of Insights to Impact, is dedicated to UCB’s overall mission of creating value for people living with severe diseases. With an extensive knowledge of data and science, gained during her 14 years at UCB, Kim has put her ability to glean insights from available data to develop solutions that seek to improve the lives of people living with severe diseases.
Q1: Your current role is U.S. Head of Insights to Impact, describe what led you to a career within the healthcare industry?
A: On a personal level, I was drawn to science at an early age. Throughout my career at UCB, I’ve looked back on an elementary school science class I was in that introduced the nervous system. On a page in our textbook was a big question mark overlaying an image of two neurons connecting. During that time, how exactly the nervous system worked was still unclear, hence the question mark.
The large question mark struck a chord in me: how did we know so little about the human body, and humans’ experiences with their bodies? This question lingered in my mind and guided me to where I am today – uncovering those questions to better understand how the human body works.
I joined UCB 14 years ago as a medical science liaison, with that how question still in my mind. I was captivated by the opportunity to take science, distill it creatively, and translate it for everyone to understand. As I continued my career in research, sales and marketing, my passion for understanding how healthcare operates and how to drive change within the organization fascinated me. My role at UCB allows me to remain curious, ask why and how, and collaborate to find solutions that better patients’ lives.
Q2: What do you enjoy most about your role?
A: I often say my role is a perfect fit because my favorite activity is solving problems. Every day I help connect the dots between trailblazing scientific discoveries, and data to make a real impact on the lives of people living with severe diseases. Identifying these connections in a way that affects real change in the healthcare industry is what keeps me passionate about my work.
Because UCB is a company rooted in creating value for patients, it is the perfect environment for my natural curiosity. Each day, I am challenged to expand my knowledge. Watching UCB take a leading role in epilepsy has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. My team built a foundation which turned into novel treatments, care management and support programs for the more than 3.4 million people in the U.S. living with epilepsy.
Q3: How did your experience as a clinically trained scientist prepare you for this role?
A: While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I studied the nervous system, conducting electrophysiology studies to better understand synaptic transmission. I continued my research in graduate school and went on to complete my Ph.D. in neuroscience and physiology. I was lucky enough to study under a well-known neuroscientist, who taught me to be confident, develop a strong voice and tap into my passion for teaching others. I credit my education and training for much of my success.
My team tells me that my in-depth knowledge of science, knack for uncovering insights, and ability to contextualize information inspires them to drive positive change in the healthcare industry. Listening to patients share pain points and challenges and working to meet those needs enables us to serve patient communities every day.
Q4: How is UCB harnessing the power of data and analytics to drive the greatest impact for patients?
A: Since the start of the pandemic and over the past year and a half, the public’s expectations of healthcare and the impact it has on people’s lives have changed drastically. Patients now expect more personalized, timely, and affordable care than ever before.
To meet these new expectations, UCB is utilizing technology to merge the gap in patient needs using high science, data and analytics; this is the foundation of our Digital Business Transformation (DBT). How will we do this? Our purposeful application of technological innovations, data and science, will enable us to uncover new insights across the care continuum to deliver solutions with better outcomes, faster.
As the executive sponsor of the U.S. Go-to-Market DBT work, I see firsthand how UCB’s initiatives will positively impact people’s lives. In early 2021, we announced the launch of a new company, Nile AI, Inc., a digital epilepsy care management platform. Nile AI, Inc. is a patient mobile app and HCP portal that which is building uses patient-centric data to make the epilepsy journey more predictable – and ultimately aiding patients in living more freely, with their unique needs met. I am proud to be a part of our DBT efforts and for launching this initiative to help people living with epilepsy feel heard and seen.
Q5: Briefly describe your approach to UCB’s Digital Business Transformation and what you consider a key enabler to success?
A: Fundamentally, digital business transformation within the healthcare industry is the union between technology and data to create impactful solutions for patients. However, it is a much more complex relationship. At UCB, we maximize data and technology to push beyond what has been possible, to discover, develop and deliver tailored solutions to better the lives patients.
Digital transformation requires that we change the way we work, including a shift in mindset to overcome common barriers that stifle our progress. My approach focuses on understanding that data and technology can only get us so far. They are both strategic assets that enable our employees to stay curious and explore digital solutions that can drive more impactful and sustainable ways to achieve our patient value ambitions. However, we also need to enable a culture where every single person feels that this transformation is their responsibility. For me, this is the most exciting part of a transformation and key to its success.
Creating a technology and organizational platform that will deliver broad impact for the business is just one piece of the puzzle. I help bring this vision to life by bridging the insights our team discovers through data and analytics and carry them to internal and external stakeholders to move UCB, healthcare, and patient care forward. My team and I also help imagine the possibilities of what we previously thought was impossible. Those uncovered possibilities are, absolutely, what gets us up in the morning. We will continue to take the learnings from our digital work as far as we can to move to an integrated vision and execution plan.
Q6: What are the biggest challenges UCB faces in delivering innovative and new solutions to patients, and how is your team working to resolve them?
I am a firm believer that growth is born from change. For UCB to continue being a pioneer in the space, it is imperative that we understand the evolving landscape and discover new solutions.
As part of the Corporate Development and Finance team, I’m responsible for increasing efficiency in UCB’s day-to-day business while energizing the transformation journey. My team analyzes new insights for each division and business unit, builds transversal connections, and draws on key learnings to maximize UCB’s impact. Our work, guided by agile decision-making, ensures that UCB's resources are optimally allocated to fulfill the greatest areas of need.
Throughout my career, I never wanted to be a leader who simply delegated responsibilities and set deadlines. I strive to listen, guide with empathy, support the people around me, and be the type of leader people want to follow in pursuit of a shared goal.
Q7: What are your hopes for the future of UCB?
A: So much has changed in the last year and a half, and our digital transformation is allowing us to create new, and modify existing, business processes as well as culture and patient and stakeholder experiences, to meet dynamic business and market requirements. As the landscape evolves, I know UCB will continue to innovate. I look forward to seeing what discoveries are around the corner as we build on our robust foundation to make us better partners with the healthcare community, delivering some of the best outcomes to patients.
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