Kirkland-based CEO is leading development of noninvasive methods to diagnose cardiovascular disease.

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BIOTECH/HEALTH CEO
Rhonda Rhyne

What do you do? At Kirkland-based Prevencio, I lead the discovery and development of blood tests that have the potential to save millions of lives and billions of health-care dollars. Our tests can accurately identify significant cardiac disease 90 percent of the time.

How did you get started? I got a Bachelor of Pharmacy, thinking I would continue to medical school. Through guidance and counsel, I thought I could have greater impact on the lives of others if I pursued a career in medical technology. I was fortunate to get my first job in medical devices at Seattle-based Quinton Instrument Company (which became Cardiac Science). Through Quinton and subsequent companies, I worked my way up to the executive suite through sales and marketing. I also picked up an MBA along the way that has helped me understand the business side of medicine.

What’s a typical day like? Never a dull moment. I’m usually managing a mix of research, clinical market development, potential partnerships, patents, legal, investors and financing. I also try to squeeze in a quick workout (run or Barre 3) and a little spiritual time — much needed after discussing patent law.

What’s the best part of the job? We are making health care better and more affordable — that is immensely satisfying. For example, our HART CAD blood test is a noninvasive way to diagnose whether a patient has obstruction in their coronary arteries and are at imminent risk of having a heart attack. This is far less expensive than traditional stress tests and delivers results within two hours.

What surprises people about what you do? People are amazed that we can learn so much from a blood test, but I think they are most surprised by just how many people are affected by cardiovascular disease. In the U.S., heart disease accounts for one in every four deaths.

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