Client Spotlight: Myant Bio
During a recent International Women’s Day Leadership Symposium, Alexia Economou from Daily Goods Design LABS (DGDL) sat down for a short interview with Debbie Wu, Material Engineer and Product Manager, at Myant Inc. Myant has ‘the world’s first end-to-end IoT* platform - SKIIN Textile Computing™ - that knits innovative sensors and actuators into smart clothing and fabrics’. Debbie and her MyantBio team are looking at ways technology can be embedded in textiles to improve people’s health.
According to the company, they want their ‘functional fashion and fabrics to improve people’s lives, be accessible to everyone and be “invisible”’. In this way the company hopes to, create a future where everyone has a digital window into what’s going on inside their bodies. They want people to use these insights to proactively manage their health as well as share that information with whomever is important in their care. We wanted to find out more...
DGDL: What does Myant Bio do?
DW: Myant Bio is trying to access as many bio-markers as possible, in an non-invasive way, to eventually co-relate biomarkers with diseases. The focus is on preventative and predictive health. We are looking at ways to move health monitoring from medical sites such as hospitals to the home.
DGDL: Today you hosted an exercise for delegates to design future products based on existing issues for women, can you tell us more about that?
DW: The project today was aimed towards women for International Women’s Day. We wanted to look at products that could be developed for females, and elderly, by simply focusing on life stages.
The delegates were asked to identify problems women face at specific life stages, and come up with a future wearable solution that could help women with the problem identified. Concept examples included: the idea of post-pregnancy underwear that would detect infection, fluids and blood pressure abnormalities. Other teams proposed garment monitors to track bone density frailties or multiple concussion issues. Still, another team designed a bra concept to track changes in the breast, detect any breast cancer and use embedded tech in the bra to attack and destroy the cancerous tissue. All remarkable ideas, but back to Debbie…
DGDL: What attracted you to Myant as a company?
DW: I came to Myant for two reasons: I was impressed by how the company was trying to combine technology with nature - because people have to be comfortable with the technology in order to adopt it. Its textiles are as discreet as possible so as not to force people to change their habits in order to use this technology. And [secondly] Myant has a very diverse team, from biochemists to fashion people, all under one roof. It is very fast and easy to prototype ideas and therefore, it is a very exciting place to work.
DGDL: One of our missions at Daily Goods Design LABS is to inspire more women to enter STEAM careers. What advice would you give them?
DW: Don’t be held back by industry stereotypes. Act - don’t be isolated. I have always been encouraged by men in the industry and have never felt discriminated against, but you have to be confident and dream big. Girls often bury their own voice, but it is important to create your own opportunities and not wait for them to appear.
DGDL: Can you give us an example from your own life?
DW: I approached my manager to move from R&D [Research and Development] to Project Management. I highlighted my skills and relevant past experiences. Then, we discussed ways that I could take on more responsibility in up-coming projects. I built trust gradually on small projects and responsibilities, and then my manager approached his manager about progressing me. But you need to provide evidence and sell yourself. Women can be much better than men at going after what they want because they are not just logical, but more comfortable with their instincts. You need a little bit of irrationality in order to make a big move… not a lot, just a little!
Click here, to learn more about Myant and the exciting work they are doing.