Elena Nioutsikou: Senior Key Expert, Patent Owner, Bundle of IdeasWorking in the field of radiation oncology at Siemens Healthineers, Elena knows exactly what drives her….

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Sometimes I’m in a meeting and something crazy comes into my mind – a new idea. I always have ideas on how to improve something or do something differently. The challenging part is to find the time to actually work on it. That’s why I became a Siemens Healthineers Key Expert. As a Key Expert, you get assigned a certain amount of time to focus on new ideas. At the same time, you can expand your knowledge and network within a global community of innovators. This way, I can turn my ideas into something meaningful. It’s most intriguing when the idea can have an impact on patients’ lives or on clinical workflows. The ideas are reviewed and discussed internally by peers, and sometimes they become a patent application. As Key Experts, we keep the innovative spirit of the company alive.

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Everyone has a certain field that they feel passionate about. Mine is radiation oncology. I have always worked in this field. First in cancer research and in clinical environments, then within the healthcare industry. I wanted to approach the same domain from different angles. I have been working at Siemens Healthineers for ten years. I began in Product Definition, then I moved to Marketing, and today I’m in Business Development and Medical Affairs. My mission is to enable peer-to-peer exchange between our customers in radiation therapy. I try to bring innovations to the broader field so that everyone can learn from each other’s experience. That’s what drives me: Being able to create value in whatever I do, and for others to gain from it. I truly enjoy defining the future of precision medicine with our customers.

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Travelling to meet customers is eye-opening and inspiring. It’s about learning how different people bring value to their community. I remember visiting an oncology hospital in Australia that has a wellness area where patients can do yoga or plant trees as part of their treatment. That was fascinating for me. It was the same in China, where I saw how they combine Chinese medicine with western traditions to improve their patients’ lives. There is, however, plenty to learn back at home. When I spend time with my daughter, it helps me to gain a whole new perspective. If I am lost in a problem and talk to her about it, she sees it through her eyes and simplifies it in her own way. She comes up with solutions I would have never been able to think of!

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Another source of inspiration is the internationality of Siemens Healthineers. I find it very boring to work in monocultural places. Here you can work with people from all around the globe, and get to know their culture. If I list the nationalities in my team, I would immediately go over ten. To be honest, when moving here, I had some concerns about Forchheim, the location of the Siemens Healthineers office where I currently work. I’ve worked in huge cities like London before and I was worried where I was about to “dump” myself. But now I love it. It’s wonderful to work in such a global company with this international atmosphere, and then to go out in the afternoon and enjoy the local traditions in a Biergarten or watch the farmer next door caring for his cows. And fortunately, with Siemens Healthineers, you’re never stuck in one place. I guess that’s what attracts people: It’s a truly global company that offers the opportunity to change things if you want to – maybe by working in Singapore or Australia for a year. What it takes, though, is a certain mindset. If you want to work for Siemens Healthineers, you need to be willing to challenge the status quo. You need to bring creativity and emotional intelligence to the table.