Spotlighting Our Engineering Team: The Experts Accelerating Our Data (Chidhi Arunachalam)


Verana Health

We’re shining a spotlight on a few of our Engineering team members at Verana Health. This team of more than 40 bright minds is responsible for the development of sophisticated pipelines and platforms that allow us to ingest and curate a high volume of de-identified healthcare data that can help accelerate research and improve patients’ lives.

We kick-off our blog series by spotlighting Chidambaram “Chidhi” Arunachalam, senior vice president of Engineering. 

Q: How would you explain your role?

A: My role involves supporting and mentoring a high-performing team of engineers who ingest data from the electronic health records of more than 20,000 clinicians in ophthalmology, neurology and urology. In addition to ingesting the data, our Engineering team curates the data, and develops applications and custom data modules that produce insights, which help inform research that could improve the lives of patients. Our applications also help medical practices enhance the quality of their patient care by benchmarking quality measure performance. My team consists of software and data engineers, quality assurance, and development and operations. 

Q: What attracted you to the field of Engineering?

A: The desire to understand how things work, and how to make them better, is what attracted me to Engineering. 

I began my career as a mechanical engineer, then transitioned to software engineering when I moved to the United States from India. This career change was mainly triggered by the idea that software could help accelerate advancements in each domain.

Q: What attracted you to Verana Health?

A: The primary reason I chose to join Verana Health was the vision of the leadership team and the board members. The team was able to clearly define the company’s mission and vision, as well as a plan to achieve goals. I was also attracted by the idea of a startup company, especially one that had a clear focus and drive to grow and mature rapidly in the coming years. 

Q: What inspires you to do this work?

A: Two quotes come to mind that provide inspiration to do this work: 

  1. “Failure is not an option.” ~Gene Kranz
  2. “Do your job.” ~New England Patriots

I believe there is always room for improvement in what we do, and that making incremental progress is what drives us forward. 

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

A: There are two aspects of my job, which I find equally rewarding. The first is providing customers with quality products within their deadlines. The second rewarding part of my job is coaching and mentoring engineers and managers. I enjoy witnessing the team grow in its respective roles. 

Q: What words of encouragement would you like to share with the team, or have you shared, about the importance of this work?

A: No matter the job, I encourage the team to continue to be curious, to learn, and to be flexible. The software engineering field is constantly evolving and we cannot afford to stagnate in our skills. By staying up-to-date on emerging technologies and adapting to new processes, this will only improve a product, as well as an individual’s career.

Q: What advancements do you see in your field in the next 5 years?

A: Some of the advancements I foresee are artificial intelligence (AI)-driven low code programming; prompt engineering from an AI (machine learning) perspective; bio-mechanics (human-machine interface, bio-medical advancements); and extended reality for education, training and workplace collaboration. 

When he’s not supporting the Verana Health Engineering team, Chidhi enjoys fishing, cooking and interior design projects during his free time (Pictured two hours into the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of New Hampshire, with a 21-inch haddock).

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