Michael Joe Cini
19th October 2023
Konrad Dobschuetz and the problem of Pilotitis
Day one of the Med-Tech World Summit in fascinating fashion with the Sacra Infermeria stage at the MCC playing host to a series of incisive industry ideas and in-depth discussions.
Among the most notable was Konrad Dobschuetz who took to the stage to give a talk on overcoming the Innovation Divide. He focused on overcoming the phenomena of “Pilotitis” to an effectively applicable scale.
The National Director of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) began by explaining just what his role entails.
The English National Health Service (NHS) is always looking for new ways to solve issues both for their patients and their staff. The NIA is in many ways at the heart of this effort.
Essentially, the NIA is a fellowship program devised to support a variety of exceptional individuals in scaling innovations to support people across the NHS for the express benefit of all those who either rely upon or provide health care in England.
Dobshuetz highlighted that these efforts are propagated without equity or charge and thus do not negatively affect the taxpayers in England.
In fact, the NIA’s innovations in many ways put back into the system investing in solutions and innovations that create jobs and scale industry.
A national crisis
Dobschuetz then brought some attention to an intrinsically significant issue currently ailing the current landscape of the NHS.
This is an incredibly high number of patients which continues to grow, the sheer number of which is greatly overwhelming the current NHS workforce of Doctors and Nurses to an unsustainable degree.
He likened this situation to pushing a rock up a hill with an effectively humorous visual.
The keynote then became evidently more technical as Dobschuetz set his focus on the issue of “Pilotitis”.
At its heart, this issue is predicated on the fact that innovation around the NHS and further afield incentivises pilot testing at great expense to the subsequent steps of growing and scaling the infrastructure around these tested innovations.
He pointed to the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on these pilot programs that Dobschuetz does not believe provide any value at all.
He even describes individuals taking steps to avoid being part of or even enacting a process to scale an idea, with the preference to remain or to perpetually move into projects that are benefiting in the testing phase.
To Dobschuetz, a more socialism-driven approach would be beneficial and at the NIA he has been working to bring this to fruition,
By prioritising support for companies in their maturity journey, the NIA hopes to ask and provide patients with far more of what they require form healthcare.
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