Guillermo Galan, Spain
Guillermo Galan Olleros is a Spanish R&D Engineer in the healtech startup Radiobiotics. He is, together with the rest of the team, responsible for deploying their machine learning medical imagery solutions into real-world hospitals alongside doctors. In Denmark, he has found a working culture of high autonomy allowing him to grow professionally.
“My job from the very beginning has been to take our algorithms from an experiment that works and deploy them as solutions in hospitals. We build machine learning software to improve the workflow of radiologists or orthopaedic surgeons in hospitals. We build a solution so that these images can be described faster, with more accuracy, which over time will help radiologists save time. What is special about Radiobotics is that we focus on building algorithms to analyse 2D X-rays in bones and in joints.”
“On top of the algorithms, we need to build software that is reliable, safe, and can run a lot of images. It’s important that we develop solutions that can easily communicate with the interfaces of the different systems in the hospital. To do so we need to build an API which handles all of this and lives up to the rules and regulations surrounding patient health data management. On top of that, we strive to develop a seamless integration that will allow doctors to get the benefit of our solution with little to no effort on their part.”
From studying military applications to helping doctors
“I did my bachelor's at the Technical University of Madrid. After inquiring about studying abroad, I found out that DTU in Copenhagen had a really good master's program where it also seemed like students have a degree of autonomy to build their curriculum. It seemed really exciting and I knew very little about Denmark when I arrived. I was surprised by all the bikes, but also by the very international mindset here. Everybody speaks English very fluently and is quite welcoming to people from outside of Denmark. Most people I've met have a global mindset.”
“During my master’s at DTU, I took a course on medical imaging systems. I started to get captivated by applying my technical knowledge to make images of the human body and help diagnose diseases, instead of working on military applications as I had in the past. When I finished, I started looking for jobs in the European health-tech sector, when I discovered Radiobotics here in Copenhagen, at the time a small startup with very little information about it. I sent them an email out of curiosity, which they took for a job application for a deep learning engineer. So, I went there for an interview with them eventhough my background was very different from their world, because I was curious about the company, and we instantly had a great connection over a very good cup of coffee.”
“I was not the right candidate for this specific job, but a few weeks later I proposed instead to do an internship while I was still studying. From the very beginning, I started solving many different problems, as there were a lot of things that I could do, which is always the case in a small startup - there are so many hats that you can wear. I eventually got hired full time and now it's been a really great two years of seeing the company grow and growing myself alongside it. This is exciting because I keep learning and doing many different new things and my colleagues teach me a lot.”
Self-awareness and asking for feedback can help if you enjoy high autonomy at work
“The work culture in Danish startups is different from the ones in Spain. For a starter, there is huge flexibility which makes things like coming later into the office and leaving later than my Danish colleagues (especially the ones that have kids) work well. We all know what needs to be done, and what our focus is.”
“There's also a high degree of autonomy and personal responsibility. In Spain, the expectation is that if there's no control, then you will deviate from the thing that you're supposed to be doing. Whereas in Denmark, whether it's in public or in a company, you are trusted to take care of what you are supposed to do. This can be a problem if you are used to getting feedback all the time: no one will really look at what you are doing wrong. I think that it is important to be really aware about your work yourself and to make the effort to ask for feedback to improve. Danes are really good at giving feedback once you ask for it.”
The truth about Danish interior design: it’s because they spend a lot of time indoors
“I have just bought an apartment and I am happy to have Copenhagen as my main base for the years to come. I enjoy climbing several times a week and road cycling in the summer, but I also learned to appreciate being indoors a lot more. The Danish interiors are so nicely designed, and it makes sense because we spend more time in it, especially during the winter.”
The big advantage of working remotely
“One of the nice things about working within the field of software development is that you can usually easily work remotely as I'm doing now. I think that the flexibility to visit friends and family in Spain for some weeks then return to Denmark works really well. I don't have to give up family or friend relationships in order to live in a different country, which is a great thing. In my job, I haven't had the need for speaking Danish, but I have tried to learn it and I want to learn more. Danes are extremely good at socializing in English, but after four years in Denmark, I think that learning danish will allow me to get a bit more out of my personal relationships.”
Explore: HealthTech in Denmark.