MedTech Exec, Entrepreneur, CEO & Founder, Marissa Fayer, Tells her Story–Talks MedTech’s Future
Marissa Fayer is a 19-year medtech executive, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She is the CEO and founder of non-profitHERHealthEQand the president of advisory firmFayer Consulting LLC. Her mission is to move innovation and the health of women forward throughout the world through the advancement of organizations and the communities in which they operate by increasing efficiency, building world-class organizations, and enhancing partnerships. Through the development of innovation and technology that enhance and better a woman’s life, she can more productively contribute to an equal society and change the lives of their families, their community, and their country within one generation.
Marissa has previously served as an executive at Hologic, Olympus (formerly ACMI), Maquet-Getting (formerly Atrium Medical), Providien Medical, LLEX Partners, and Accumed Innovative Technologies. Additionally she has consulting for several of the Top 500 companies in the world and is a seasoned executive. Marissa graduated from Boston University with a BS in Manufacturing Engineering and from University of Connecticut with an MBA.
Marissa has been listed as one of the Top 100 Women in Medtech in 2018, a Top Woman Activist to Watch, awarded the 2018/9 Africa Development Award, a Wonder Women in Medtech in 2017, and has spoken at the World Alliance Forum, the MPO Summit, DeviceTalks Boston, numerous non-profit dedication ceremonies, and for several Top 500 companies. Marissa has appeared in several online and print publications such as Medical Design & Outsourcing, Med Device Online, MPO magazine, Innovation Forum, and TheStreet.com. Marissa leads the #wealththroughhealth and #healthequityforwomen movements and is dedicated to moving innovation forward throughout the world.
Marissa Tells Her MedTech Story:
After spending 15 years in the corporate environment (working on engineering, manufacturing, mergers and acquisitions, etc.), I shifted to the MedTech arena, in which I have been involved for two decades. Currently, I run my own consultancy (an advisory firm), and work with small to medium sized businesses on growth, the introduction of capital, strategic advisory work, and so on.
Concurrently, I’m the CEO and Founder of a global nonprofit (HERHealthEQ). We focus on providing medical equipment to women in developing countries for the top 4 non-communicable diseases, which are:
- Cancers affecting women
- Maternal health
- Heart disease
Many people are oblivious to the knowledge that when these countries transition from the 3rd world to the 2nd world, even though that’s wonderful, most of their aid leaves. Furthermore, these countries aren’t actually wealthy enough to buy equipment to diagnose, treat, and prevent all of these diseases. And we call them longevity diseases because, of course, it’s wonderful that people are living longer lives, but these people nonetheless have to be treated at a later stage.
HERHealthEQ is now 3 years old, and at the moment, we are working on transitioning from the startup phase into the growth phase.
What got you into MedTech?
Initially, I was shooting for the aerospace engineering industry; however, because of how cyclical the industry is (changing jobs every two years), that prospect didn’t proliferate. However, a company soon found me and introduced me to the fabulous world of MedTech, and I absolutely loved it. And once you get into the MedTech industry, you're basically locked in.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on?
One of my favorite projects was when I was on the team (as well as developing partner) of a 3D mammography system, which is now out on the market. That idea went from back of the napkin to full-scale production, and it was very cool to see this brand new technology really come to life.
I also moved to Costa Rica for several years and helped integrate the company that had made the 3D mammography system into an organization. The challenges and differences in cultures, and working in a different place was all very fascinating to me. Those are definitely my favorite projects!
Where is the future of MedTech headed?
What’s your take on mental health apps?
Calm, Headspace, etc. are apps and they are all a part of the MedTech industry. With the introduction of mental health apps, people are now finally taking control of their own health, which is important because you cannot rely on systems that might not necessarily work. Therefore, you must be your own advocate and take care of your own health, and these apps let you do that.
Remote based diagnostics are the future.
I believe that remote based diagnostics are the future. Right now, existing medical devices are coming up as apps, so without question, this is where the future of MedTech is headed. And in the developing world this has to be the way of the future.
With regards to remote based diagnostics in the developing world, they truly make health more accessible. For instance, in Tanzania, we are partners with an organization that is testing a screening for cervical cancer with an app on a smartphone. This tool can find pre-cancerous/cancerous cells, and doctors can then work with the women afflicted by cervical cancer, and treat them instantly. The fact that an app is capable of doing this is just incredible. Moreover, it is currently possible to test eyesight in remote Indian villages with apps.
Clearly, remote based diagnostics make healthcare more accessible and cheaper. However, it’s not to say that any of this will be replacing doctors, because the medical professionals are the ones who are preforming the tests–these diagnostic tools just makes healthcare more accessible.
Will AI therapy apps replace conventional therapy?
AI therapy apps are useful because people need to be comfortable with expressing their feelings. However, there may come a time when you might need to consult an actual professional in office.
Additionally, if you are somebody with a mental health issue in the middle of Nebraska, and the closest clinic happens to be 300 miles out, then an app can be of tremendous benefit and value to you.
There is also an emerging face of e-health that allows people to literally video-chat with their doctor. For example, I actually video-chat with a doc or a nurse, rather than going into the clinic, because it makes things easier for everybody.
Again, apps and AI help make healthcare more convenient, accessible, and affordable, and will no doubt define the future of MedTech.