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Product Discovery Lead - Digital Health R&D

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-077898 Date posted 03/24/2020

At AstraZeneca we work together across global boundaries to make an impact and find answers to challenges. We do this with the upmost integrity even in the most difficult situations because we are committed to doing the right thing. We continuously forge partnerships that help pursue world-class medicines in new ways, combining our people’s exceptional skills with those of people from all over the globe.

Job Description

Advances in digitalization, data and advance analytics are changing industries at pace with the pharma industry showing signs of movement. The Digital Health Market will grow exponentially over the next 3 years, with new applications in digital showing in phase 3 studies significant benefits for patients including overall survival in Cancer.

AstraZeneca would like to leap frog in this area and has prioritized digital in R&D as a critical strategic area of focus by 2025, as part of the overall company strategy. Digital Health R&D’s ambition is to transform healthcare, powered by digital, science and collaborations, to deliver the healthcare outcomes and experience that patients care about the most.

The Digital Health R&D journey incorporates 3 key stages:

  • Stage 1 – foundational, reimagine how we work, by maximizing the use of digital, data and analytics transform processes within R&D to gain significant benefits on speed of the portfolio (goal 9 months acceleration) productivity (goal -20% reduction in cost per patient per year) quality at source, patient experience and probability of success.
  • Stage 2 – advanced, redefine clinical trials and digital health to improve overall patient experiences and outcomes, example redefining patient populations, remote clinical trials, patient apps to reduce/manage adverse events and improve patient outcomes (OS), using data from EHMr and RWE instead of control arms, and through PROs and continuous patient monitoring, creating new end points enabling studies in earlier stages of disease (ctDNA changes) prolonging significantly patients’ lives
  • Stage 3 – future-readiness, reimagine healthcare, examples, AZ as a healthcare provider beyond medicines for certain indications (example: Breast Cancer, proving monitoring, predictive analytics and therapies for improved outcomes), full integration of Multiomics (imaging, genomics, proteomics …) to better predict and significantly improve patients’ health

As we look to ensure that we make the right things, we are creating a new team specifically for this journey. The Digital Therapeutics Product Discovery role is a key part of the foundations of our new team.

In this role you will help guide the overall design direction by helping bring the audience to life for the rest of the team with rich insights, task analysis, journey / experience maps, etc. A big part of this role is using all of the understanding of the audience to help ensure that the team is solving the right problem, helping to define and run experiments to validate ideas before we ever think about committing to build something, and owns all forms of testing, including concept testing and usability testing.

Ideally, this person would be located in one of our core locations: Cambridge, UK. Gothenburg, Sweden. Gaithersburg, MD. New York, NY. We will consider candidates in other locations, but we highly prefer the person to be in one of those locations.

Primary Responsibilities for this role will include (but not limited to):

  • Ensure product teams are discovering and aligning solutions to the needs of patients, partners, and providers
  • Build domain knowledge by aligning with the business and developing a deep understanding of how ‘it’ works (for individuals, at AZ, in the industry)
  • Assist teams in fully exploring the problem space, framing opportunities, and focusing on outcomes and delivered value (not just solutions)
  • Help teams be divergent, think deeply, address underlying corollaries and causes, and be comfortable with ambiguity
  • Embed a sense of empathy and connection across the team for who they’re building for (and why they’re building it)
  • Guide teams to think further into the future and actively propose new areas of opportunity (what aren’t they thinking about that they should be?)
  • Be a ‘prophet' of what’s to come in the industry, in technology overall, and across new domains that others aren’t exploring today
  • Guide teams in developing true Product Market Fit (PMF) and validating solutions through interviews, testing, third party research, and other modern discovery methods
  • Help teams to seek disconfirming information to ensure they’re building the right things
  • Conduct both heuristic and usability evaluations of existing and proposed designs
  • Craft compelling and influential presentations, telling a story to all levels of the organization (including executives)

Who You Are

  • Ability to get beneath the surface of what people say they want to truly understand what they need.
  • A portfolio that demonstrates your ability to empathize with your audience and leverage that empathy to create useful, intuitive and desirable solutions.
  • Strong experience with current discovery tools and methods (Dovetail, Userzoom, dscout, Lookback, Validately, Typeform, Mural/Miro, FullStory, etc)
  • Prior experience/proof of helping to shift a product direction, reframe a problem, or get teams ‘unstuck’ by learning more deeply about who they’re building for
  • An proven ability to interview well and dig beneath the surface of what people say they do to what they actually do. To go deeper than what they say they want, to what they actually need
  • A proven ability to easily zoom in and out from the details up to 30,000 feet and see a problem from different directions/dimensions
  • Minimum 3 years experience in a product discovery or design strategy role

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience


  • Minimum 3 years of experience in Product Discovery / Research
  • Ability to get beneath the surface of what people say they want to truly understand what they need.
  • Extensive experience with user interface design patterns and standard UCD methodologies across multiple platforms
  • Strong experience with current design and prototyping tools (Dovetail, Sketch, Invision, Principle, Figma, Framer, etc)
  • Exceptional communication skills, including the ability to gather relevant data and information, actively listen, dialogue freely, verbalize ideas effectively, negotiate tense situations successfully, and manage and resolve conflict.


  • In Depth experience building global digital products and understands the nuances of developing culturally customized solutions.
  • A Bachelor's degree in Anthropology, Cognitive Psychology, Liberal Arts or related field.  Equivalent work experience In lieu of degree, is acceptable.
  • Experience working successfully in a highly matrixed work environment.
  • The ability to step back and see the big picture as well as dive in a obsess about the details.
  • Ability to translate complex topics in simple, non-technical terms that are meaningful to the business
  • Strong understanding of modern software development practices and has some technical knowledge / skills (doesn’t get overwhelmed when an engineer starts talking about technical details)
  • Pharma knowledge is a big plus!!

AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.