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Behind the scenes at Optum: Ritu’s passionate drive for data-driven health care

Ritu’s story: Engineering healthy solutions with data

At Optum, we’re all committed to making health care work better. Every member of our team brings unique skills and perspectives to advance our mission.


For Ritu N., a principal lead engineer, the journey to helping people live healthier lives began in childhood. Read more about Ritu’s path to becoming a software engineer at Optum in her own words, and find out how she’s following her passion to turn data into meaningful solutions.

"I had influences from a very early age that made a lasting impression on me. My mom had this vision that her first daughter should go outside of India. And my dad was a mechanical engineer – I remember seeing him wearing his helmet leaving the house. Then he would come back home and say that he climbed into these huge pipelines. That always intrigued me. That’s when I thought maybe I should be an engineer too.

"I followed that early inspiration, and that eventually led me to my undergrad program in electrical engineering. In a class of 75 students, I was one of only six women.

"Here at Optum, I’m a principal lead engineer. Our team partners with our customers to enable them to do their day-to-day technology operations, making them easier and more efficient. We know that our customers are hospitals that take care of patients; busy places with lots of business operations going on. They come to us to get the data story that they can’t get as a part of their day-to-day jobs.

"'Thinking outside the box' is now a clichéd phrase, but it really does apply to our work. In data acquisition services, we go in and acquire information from our client’s environment. We analyze the data, which enables us to tell customers things like how they are doing operationally, how their procurement process is going and how their physicians are doing. That crucial data story is what health care technology can help with. Our goal is to be the team that removes the IT burden from our clients. It all starts with having access to the data. And then we do the magic from there. At least, I feel like it’s magic."

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