Portrait Dr. Christoph Pies

Interview with Dr. Christoph Pies

Since October 2020, Dr. Christoph Pies has supported Simpleprax with his many years of experience as a practicing physician and through his activities in a wide variety of digital health areas. Read more about his view on Simpleprax and digitization in medical practices.

Antonia Saleh

About Dr. Christoph Pies

After completing his medical studies at Bochum and Düsseldorf, Dr. Christoph Pies specialized in urology. After settling in Aachen in 2004, he worked in his urology practice for 16 years.

He is the author of four books and hosts a podcast called "Pinkelpause," where he offers weekly tips on men's health.

His digital affinity is also demonstrated by his work as a "freelancer" doctor in telemedicine. Dr. Christoph Pies is not only on the Medical Board at the online pharmacy Apomeds, but also Medical Officer at Prognoix, a startup that focuses on digital solutions for men's health. Furthermore, Dr. Christoph Pies co-founded the self-help platform "Patients like us", which promotes the networking of patients. Since October 2020, he has been advising Simpleprax through his many years of experience in the German healthcare market.


How does digitization affect medical practices on a daily basis?

Currently, digitization is still playing a relatively small role. My impression is that digitization is much more advanced in other areas of life, while medicine is still lagging behind. Nevertheless, I am firmly convinced that the future of medicine is digital and we cannot continue to avoid it.

Digitization will become standard practice. It will no longer be necessary to stress the advantages of digitalization; rather, it will become essential for purposes of effectiveness to address most aspects of medicine digitally. Many technical innovations are initially viewed with skepticism, and their advantages must be demonstrated. Later on, it becomes a part of everyday life, and is difficult to imagine a world without it. This step has yet to be taken in medicine.

What can startups do that the established SMEs in the German healthcare market can't?

I believe that a startup with a manageable number of employees has the advantage of being very flexible. Aside from that, you can work very closely with customers, and I have learned from my experience that you are highly innovative, creative, and open to new ideas. The same form of service cannot be provided by a large company that acts like a tanker and can't maneuver flexibly.

Could you identify any obstacles to the widespread use of digital tools like Simpleprax?

Obstacles certainly exist. The human factor usually plays a significant role in the healthcare industry. We have always done things this way, so why change it now? That is the main argument against innovations. Implementing innovations is always a challenge, and it takes time. This will entail extra work and process changes. Motivation and a good team are essential. Human factors are always the limiting factors. Once a practice team recognizes the advantages that result from it, they will also be prepared to deal with such innovations.

What are the advantages of Simpleprax in everyday practice?

I'll give you an example: When you boarded a plane in the past, the majority of passengers carried a stack of papers with them. Printed boarding passes, documents from the destination, insurance documents, health documents, etc. Then there was a long line to check-in and drop off your luggage, etc. That's all obsolete today. All of your boarding passes, vaccination certificates, rental car documents, destination documents, etc., are available digitally. You go past check-in, you don't have to wait in line anymore, you've labeled your suitcase beforehand and you just check it in.

At the doctor's office, it will be similar. The tedious process of filling out documents, matching medication lists from the GP with the hospital report, etc. will be gone when Simpleprax is implemented on a large scale. Eventually, we will be smiling tiredly at many of the processes we still have today.

Why did you decide to support Simpleprax?

First of all, because I know you personally and because I sensed how motivated and committed you are the first time we discussed Simpleprax. At that moment, I noticed that there was a fire burning, and I wanted to sit around it to warm up as well as share my experiences. It is extremely exciting to be involved in this development from the very beginning, so I am very happy to support you.

How exactly do you support the Simpleprax team?

Although I don't actively contribute to the project, I am able to share my experiences as a user. This is also quite good, as both of you do not come from the medical field. Based on my experience as a doctor, I can give my opinion on how something should be implemented. From a technical point of view, I can't offer much input, but I can offer an application perspective. In addition, I can offer my network. My favorite aspect of our relationship is that we learn from each other as well.

Thank you very much, Dr. Christoph Pies!

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