The unexpected journey of a Viedoc Quality Assurance Officer

Growing up, Yupei’s favourite place to spend time was her grandfather’s traditional Chinese pharmacy. Located in the 6 million people “small town” of Xinyang, China, it held an air of mystique for a curious child.

There, herbs were carefully blended and placed inside beautiful glass jars in a variety of colours and sizes to later be sold as traditional Chinese medicine. Science was a mysterious and fascinating world, and young Yupei longed for more.

Many years later, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical studies in China, Yupei learned about a master’s program in pharmaceutical modelling at Uppsala University, a well -reputed educational institution in a small Swedish town with the same name. This master’s program combined studies in pharmaceutical science, data science and programming, and would soon become the cause for a move across the globe to a new home - and with time, a new life.

It wasn’t long before Viedoc recruited Yupei to the role of Quality Assurance Officer, a job that would turn out to be a perfect fit. Implementation of quality systems, conducting quality assurance audits, and monitoring results from processes and procedures would allow her to combine her passion for the big picture - scientific process and its intrinsic value to society- and the detailed, meticulous focus of research, regulation, and EDC data collection.

- The best thing about the job is that I need to know almost everything about Viedoc, which is challenging but also fun, because I can learn a lot, too. When the customers come to us, they want to know about the company. How the software is developed and if it meets the requirements not only from a functional perspective but also from the regulatory compliance perspective. Our task is to demonstrate that our products are regulatory compliant and that our products are developed specifically for clinical trials. And when they audit our company, they don’t only audit our product, they audit our talent and our competence. Questions can be really broad, for example, they can ask that if our company have good capital? A good office? Is our office located in a safe place? Do we have a fire extinguisher?”

The unexpected journey of a Viedoc Quality Assurance Officer

Though quality assurance at Viedoc very much centres upon rules and regulation, Yupei always seems to see the bigger picture – how quality assurance is ultimately linked to life and human beings themselves.

- My opinion is that QA contributes to a healthier world by controlling and ensuring good quality of products. To be more specific, in this field, good products should ensure a good quality of data which is directly related to good quality of results. Inaccurate or false results can lead to wrong decisions, and a wrong decision can lead to the release of poor medicine. If even one person gets hurt, that person has relatives and maybe other people that love them. I mean, we are trying our best to produce the best quality of results. That’s what we can do. We can assure a good quality of results by assuring the quality of our product, and I think that’s important.

We asked Yupei to expand on the human factor in her work. After all, quality assurance of EDC software can seem like a very impersonal role, mostly concerned with control of data and results. Yet her perspective always seems to be notably humanistic.

- There is always a human factor in clinical trials. A clinical trial is about humans and their responses to trials, and that is also one of the reasons EDC is so important. I really like the EDC solution. Not because it is faster, but because it helps us better understand human responses and needs – by helping us avoid human error. Viedoc has developed software that I’m super into. I remember back when I was doing my bachelors, and I was doing an internship in a CRO. Back then, people were still working in a traditional way with trial projects, which means recording manually on paper. There was a lot of paper, and some people had bad handwriting, and some of my colleagues had a hard time understanding the other’s data and had to redo or go back to a person to ask what they meant. So, comparing to the traditional way of capturing data from clinical trial, EDC is a really good solution. Firstly, you don’t have to make so much effort to maintain the paperwork. You focus on the clinical trial itself. You don’t lose your date because it’s electronic. Wind won’t blow your papers away. So that makes it a smart solution. And, you save a lot of time when archiving, which, again, means you get to focus on the study itself. You shorten the time required for clinical trials and you also produce good quality data. In return, you get good results.

- So I think from this perspective, Viedoc’s software is a really good thing for human beings and can help us all create a healthier world. It accelerates the process, which means it is already contributing towards healthier world. And the product is, I think, good internally - for the employees themselves. It helps create a good working culture, so employees are happy. And if we have happy employees, we have a more sustainable business. The employees they will be able to run the business for a longer time and release good results and better medical solutions.

When we asked Yupei about her employee experience at Viedoc, her response was refreshingly personal.

- I have to find the correct word to describe it. It is quite ’easy peasy’ and ’friendly’. I would also say that it’s peaceful. I don’t want to use the word ’cosy’ because it might seem like I’m not working very hard (laughs), but it’s comfortable. I suppose this is because the company has a very international environment. People come from all different backgrounds and different countries. Some people are typically Nordic. They are shy. And some people are Swedish, but not shy at all. They’re good at talking. We talk a lot in kitchen. So I would say that it is really comfortable, especially the relationships between colleagues. I think that is a really good part of this office.

Struck by this mid twenty-year old’s depth and her perspective on culture, global health, and happiness, it seemed only natural to ask her what she thought the future of clinical trials might look like.

- Because of EDC, most things can be done on the Internet or through electronic data capture, which is really good. Maybe in the future, patients won’t even need to go to onsite. They might be able to participate in a trial while staying at home, and the investigator or the clinical worker can kind of track the whole trial just by using online conferences. With such methods, the clinical trials are going to be better, because we’ll eliminate boundaries caused by location, language and so forth. I think the clinical trials are going to be conducted on a larger scale, be faster also more inclusive. I think modern advanced technology is going to be more involved in human health. I understand that a lot of technologies are involved in diagnosis and human health, and there are a lot of opportunities to explore, for example, prevention diagnostics. We know prevention is better than treatment. So if there is a kind of advanced technology can be used in this field, and we can diagnose and predict illness and counter it and put a treatment in place in advance, that will be a good thing. Yeah, in general, I think more innovation and technology in this field will be amazing.

When asked what she saw in her personal future, her response was surprisingly humble, even practical.

- I have been in this company for almost a year and in the upcoming two or three years, I want to develop more professionally, especially in terms of regulatory compliance. I want to become a more professional auditor. But this is hard to answer as I am not really good at foreseeing my future.

One thing seems certain about her future, however. Yupei, who’s name in Chinese translates roughly into Jade of The Universe, is mostly certainly going to lead her life in the next few years with great purpose. And after getting to know her a bit better, it also seems likely that she will make a positive difference. Not only to the outcome in her audits, but also to the development of clinical trials and EDC collection. Perhaps one could even say that she will have a positive impact of the future of human health.

The unexpected journey of a Viedoc Quality Assurance Officer
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