Interview with Amir Dean

Amir Dean recently joined the NIHR Devices for Dignity MIC team as Project Manager – Digital Health.

With a background in business development and project management in digital healthcare, Amir is accredited by The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI). With extensive industry experience, Amir has been instrumental in successfully enabling transformation in care pathways (including diabetes and wound care management) from project conception through to service provision.

We spoke to Amir about his career in innovation and his new role at Devices for Dignity.

Welcome to the Devices for Dignity team! You’ve worked in a number of different roles throughout your career, what led you to work in medtech innovation?

“I started my career in biomedical science, which I found extremely interesting but very different to the medtech innovation environment. I was approached during my BSc studies to study biotechnology, which I didn’t pursue at the time; however I later rediscovered my real interest and motivation for working in technology innovation when I was working in the pharmaceutical sector, which coincided with me seeking new personal development challenges at that time.

They say “change is the only constant in life” – and this needs to be change for the better. As technology innovators, we have to understand what creates resistance to change, and how more technology options can give people choices and enable them to access care and manage their health in a way that works for them.

I’m incredibly excited by the opportunity to be part of improving health and care services for better outcomes and experiences. That’s what motivates me.”

What are you looking forward to in this role?”

“I’m looking forward to being part of the D4D team – being a catalyst for taking projects forward to next-stage development and commercialisation, and driving forward activity where projects within the portfolio may have stalled.

I will be seeking to take a long-term view for new technology concepts (for example early consideration of market drivers for commercialisation) and horizon-scanning for opportunities that align with D4D’s core themes. I’m aiming to be the ‘glue’ as project manager to connect partners and make things happen.

It’s very important to me to explore the unmet needs for the LGBTQ+ community living with long-term conditions, and to look at how technology interventions may play a role in supporting good mental health for people living with one or more conditions – and their families and carers.

I’m also keen to bring my extensive personal and professional experience to drive opportunities within the D4D Diabetes Theme portfolio.”

What key advice do you have for industry innovators?”

“I would say from an early development stage to “do your research – know your market”. You need to be armed with what you know (and know what you don’t know!). So, that includes competitor analysis, market knowledge, validation of the unmet need, stakeholder involvement etc.

I’d also advise to think about the long-term for technology adoption and management – so, think about future-proofing, interoperability, demonstrating compliance with multiple standards.

And finally, I would say be realistic about technology development timescales! Taking a good idea from concept to commercialisation takes time – so find partners with the same expectations and understanding as you of the timescales involved.”