“When working within the medical technology sector, nothing can beat the excitement I get that comes from designing new products that make a real difference to patient care and outcomes, encouraging a change in the fixed mindset of healthcare delivery.  I want to empower clinicians to advance beyond entrenched expectations of what they can achieve and instead use the valuable hard data generated in the operating theatre to develop new techniques and improve patient care.  It’s time to learn from our mistakes – with millions of people worldwide dying each year from preventable medical error, I passionately believe only when that is acknowledged and addressed might we pause in satisfaction of our skills”

Colin Dobbyne, product development consultant and founder of Big Blue Solutions


Colin introduces his own brand of system engineering philosophy, ‘Oxygen’, that replaces monolithic systems built with a single software stack with distributed intelligence that shares the load of processing around its devices and utilises innovative user interaction interfaces.  He brings Industry 4.0 to all new systems that historically have lacked connectivity, content creation and data collection.

His philosophy is brought to life in a series of ground-breaking achievements:




While heading up OR Networks, Colin designed and installed the first UK endoscopic video link across a metropolitan ATM, from Leeds General Infirmary to St James.  This was followed by the first 15Mbps integrated theatre to a postgraduate facility for the Northumbria Healthcare Trust over three sites around Newcastle and the first permanent True HD (1920 x 1080p), education link in the UK over a fibre optic network, for live surgery at Stepping Hill Hospital, Manchester.

The firsts were not restricted to the UK – as part of a social responsibility initiative, Colin also installed the first transcontinental surgical link, operating from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania to the UK.



From 2011, Colin’s work at KARL STORZ Endoscopy (UK) Ltd revolutionised the design of operating theatres for minimally invasive surgery.  His OR1 theatres integrate the complex requirements of an operating theatre, bringing together endoscopy, full HD camera technology, visualisation, documentation and communication. The entire surgical environment is configurable for different procedures and individual surgeon preferences and can be controlled from a centrally located touch-panel within the sterile field, giving surgeons complete control over every aspect of their surgery, with all necessary information at their fingertips.

The OR1 also stretches beyond the operating theatre, supporting clinical education by providing connectivity with hospital ICT systems to enhance audio-visual communication from the OR, whether for teleconferencing, teaching or telesurgery.




In 2016, Colin joined KARL STORZ as product development design consultant. As a result of his work, KARL STORZ will soon benefit from an outstanding new product that will be a catalyst for a complete KARL STORZ eco-system, so advanced that any new technology can be easily integrated and any new feature rapidly developed that is affordable, sustainable, cybersecure and open-architecture.

The disruptive new system will support any video distribution system (AVoIP or Pro-AV formats) and be a cost-effective video distribution node in a modern operating room system topology. The underlying “Oxygen" principle is a modern system architecture of distributed intelligence and human interfacing, where ergonomics are tuned to workflows and machine and sensor data is recorded to present learning opportunities.

In its simple form, this is a single box solution, but it is based on the ecosystem for modularity, scalability and sustainability, making it future-proof. The new ecosystem will transform operating rooms from studios of work into data and media creation, collection and distribution and the use of that data for instantaneous better decision making with better informed surgeons and big data collection and analysis tools for evidence based improvements to techniques and devices.


In 2008, Colin became part of the ongoing Link Project – an initiative between Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Tanzania to use tele-mentoring to train East African surgeons to carry our laparoscopic surgery. Overcoming massive technical challenges, Colin set up an innovative and unique audio-visual link that has gone on to win worldwide acclaim and awards.

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