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Letter to Virta Health

Dear Virta Health:

I would like to introduce myself and express my enthusiasm for your mission.

I’ve recently had success with the ketogenic way of eating after years of pursuing ineffective diets. I’ve immersed myself in readings and keto online groups, where the name of your organization came up. From hearing the stories of so many, I’m enthusiastic that his way of eating to revolutionize Type 2 diabetes care, and indeed turn upside down recommendations for healthy eating for all of us.

I’m a user researcher with a health focus

I work independently helping businesses understand users need so they can create technology products that are easy to use, desirable, and effective.

I have extensive experience with health industry:
  • Having worked for Kaiser Permanente in content and program development for health education, I have insight on how consumers take in health information. My specialty is related to making complicated health topics accessible and easy to learn by consumer audiences.
  • I also have extensive experience working with conventional physicians as a consultant. I understand their concerns and priorities they have in their practices and obstacles to integrating new programs.
  • I have training biomedicine acquired during my first career as an acupuncturist. This background has proved extremely valuable as I’ve assessed the scientific underpinnings of this diet and communicated this to others.

How we might work together

I use human-centered design techniques of user interviews, surveys, and usability studies to uncover user needs and develop requirements.

By investing in user research you may:
  • Extend the reach of your product manager – I find, coordinate, and schedule research opportunities. I develop unbiased questions, analyze, present and document findings. With quicker, easier research execution, the product manager can focus on delivering product.
  • Validate the direction of your content and test it – I noted that you recently posted a job for a content lead. As you know, it’s expensive to develop good content, so it’s important to define objectives and validate direction and messaging with users as much as possible. I have extensive experience doing this – as well usability testing of content — from my time at Kaiser.
  • Break impasse between different directions – With the right research method, I can put to rest differences of opinion and guide you to the best direction, with the certainty of research behind it.
  • Reinforce a user-centered design culture – Presenting video, quotes, and pictures of real users is the single best way to create culture change toward putting users in the center. This can also help sales tell compelling stories to new accounts.

As a start-up, your success hinges on the ability to prioritize scarce development and business resources. Engaging a small piece of your resources toward a user research will give an excellent return on investment.

I would be thrilled to get acquainted in person sometime soon. I’m eager to put my skills to providing direction on how to effectively bring this way of eating to the most people as possible.

Best regards,
Mariana Almeida, MS