Xinyao Zhao ’21 wants to become a businesswoman to help people with clinical success

student in a white lab coat with a syringe

Xinyao Zhao ’21 has a passion for volunteering, social work, and medical devices as shown in her experiences in China, the USA, the UK, and Europe. As someone who has a strong interest in advancing clinical and commercial success she decided to major in Bioengineering at the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

In high school, Zhao volunteered at a nursing home in Tian He Lao Nian in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China. For three years, she founded a club with other classmates and arranged weekly activities, such as storytelling, chatting, and message for elderly people in the nursing house. Zhao realized her help was not enough. She then determined to improve the living situations for elderly people. As a result, she raised about $370, bought a new washing machine and clothing for elderly people, and gained positive media awareness in the newspaper.

After high school, Zhao decided to take a different route from most of her peers. She took a gap year and applied for a job in England. Her love for traveling and social work brought her to a facility in Ringwood called The Lantern Community, where she worked as a living assistant. There, Zhao assisted adults with depression, autism, down syndrome, etc., with their finances, medication, and day-to-day tasks. This later turned out to be a good opportunity for newfound confidence in her stress management skills, social skills, and cultural  adaption skills. Outside of work, she traveled all over England on her own or with a few friends. This Christmas, she plans to fly to Germany to visit one of her friends she made during her time in The Lantern Community.

During Pandemic,  on a quest to expand knowledge and skills for medical devices, Zhao interned in a medical device trading company. Each week she had to visit 40 hospitals to understand the market for fluorescence visualization systems for cancer treatment and constantly followed up with the hospitals to introduce this device and provide on-time after-sales Services. Zhao was very excited that she and her team successfully sold $400,000 of the visualization system device.

With experiences in medical devices trading, various hands-on projects, and the health care field,  Zhao began working this fall on an idea called Lateral Assist with Andreea Merloiu who co-developed the invention with SU engineering students Chyenee Kersavage and Katherine Braun through the Invent@SU summer 2021 accelerator program. The Invent@SU team of Merloiu, Kersavage and Braun created the prototype and pitched it during the summer program to address the specific segment population of morbidly obese patients who are facing all kinds of challenges and discomfort in hospitals. They received a positive response. Zhao and Merloiu have participated in a campus competition this fall, seeking to raise funding for the idea.

Story based on information supplied by Xinyao Zhao ’21 with additional information on Invent@SU