Watch CBS News

L.A. Digital Health Startup Founder Believes In Empathy

Darla Brown is the CEO and Founder of  At, Brown is focused on creating a technology platform that empowers patients and doctors to improve health outcomes. She started her career in technology as a web engineer and then led successful product and engineering teams in Los Angeles, mostly at media and entertainment startups. When Brown went through cancer treatment in 2010, she was surprised to find so few healthcare products designed from the patient's perspective, so she switched her focus to the healthcare industry and started to help empower people in their own health.

(Photo Courtesy of Darla Brown)

Brown received her bachelor's in computer information systems from Idaho State University. She took also took many computer science and math classes, but switched to a CIS major because it helped her develop a broader skill set.

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

"As the founder of a digital health startup, I make sure all the parts of are moving in the right direction and working well together. Right now, I am primarily focused on developing our product for doctors and patients that is launching in October, talking to potential customers and partners and preparing for MedX, which is a patient-centered conference at Stanford University that I'll be attending."

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

"As an entrepreneur, each day is different and new, which makes it challenging and rewarding. I enjoy the days where I get to interact with patients and doctors, and hear how has helped them in some way because that is my passion. I love working with our team at; each person brings their experiences and unique perspective when we work together, but we all share a common goal of improving the healthcare system."

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

"My education prepared me to be a lifelong learner, which I think is important when you work in technology because it advances so rapidly that your knowledge can become outdated."

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

"Empathy is the most important part of creating successful technology products. A big part of what I do is placing myself in the user's shoes. I'm always thinking, 'How will the patient or doctor use this feature? How will this feature improve the patient's life? How can help?' So my advice would be to develop empathy and active listening skills, along with your programming and design skills, so that you can create real solutions that improve people's lives."

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.