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Posts Tagged: "Medical technologies"

Intellectual Property Without Borders: How IP Protection for Low-Cost Medical Devices Improves Global Health

Because the production costs of these medical devices and pharmaceuticals are so high, millions of people around the world are unable to obtain necessary healthcare. For example, as of 2014, close to seventy percent of all cardiac pacemaker sales occurred in the United States and Europe, while several countries in Africa and Asia have absolutely no access to pacemakers. In order to respond to this problem, research scientists have begun developing low-cost medical technologies and using intellectual property rights to give people in developing countries access to adequate healthcare.

Medical software provides life-saving results, not abstract ideas

Those who make the argument that medical software is abstract, or trivial, are just wrong. Medical software has been developed to benefit both patients and medical practitioners by providing better diagnostics, which ultimately lead to new and better treatments… In the context of medical technology, the proper evaluation and effective treatment of patients depend upon complex correlations assessed over prescribed times. This, in turn, relies upon the generation of predictive models from a comparison of an individual patient’s signs and symptoms against a database of studied human wellness parameters, which contain patterns of diagnosis, chosen treatment, and outcome. These efforts are far from trivial.

Strength of IBM’s Watson Health seen in Bausch & Lomb iOS app for cataract surgeries

IBM has been wading further into the medical fields over the past few years thanks to the strength of its cognitive computing division, especially the rise of Watson Health. Last year, we covered the news that Watson Health had picked up its first major corporate partner in Israeli generic medication developer Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA). Near the end of May, IBM made a significant hire for its Watson Health division by bringing aboard Dr. Paul Tang, formerly the chief innovation officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Watson Health already has grown its list of partnering consumer health developers including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT)

A look at treatments for hepatitis C, America’s top infectious disease killer

The FDA has been pretty active this year in approving new tests and treatments designed to help identify and eliminate the hepatitis C virus in patients. Swiss healthcare developer Roche (VTX:ROG) received FDA approval this March for a new quantitative RNA test which can help physicians see exactly what level of HCV exists in a patient’s blood instead of simply confirming an active infection. Earlier this year, in late January, the FDA granted approval to Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) for a once-daily single tablet treatment branded as Zepatier. Zepatier is another combination drug therapy which incorporates elbasvir and grazoprevir, both HCV RNA inhibitors, and is designed to treat patients having one of two strains of HCV, including the most common strain. A 12-week regimen of the treatment costs $54,600.

Blue Ribbon Panel of Advisors Announced for Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Earlier this week the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, announced a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts, cancer leaders, and patient advocates that will work to inform the scientific direction and goals for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. “Thanks to advances in science, we are now in a historically unique position to make profound improvements in the way we treat, detect, and prevent cancer,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. He is correct, and here is why.

Samsung patent totals top 2,000 in Q1 2016, invents foldable and rollable electronic display screens

In 2015, Samsung Electronics earned a total of 5,072 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a slight increase from the 4,936 U.S. patents which the company took home in 2014. Including design and utility patents, Samsung has already taken in 2,017 U.S. patents since the beginning of 2016, an incredible pace which would blow past the firm’s 2015 totals if it holds up all year. As the text cluster from Innography shows us here, much of this recent research and development has focused on semiconductor devices, memory devices and display panels.

Amici led by Eli Lilly file brief in Supreme Court in support of Sequenom certiorari petition

Rather than use the word ‘conflate’ to describe the mongrel mixture of patentability requirements the Supreme Court undertook in Mayo, the Eli Lilly brief characterizes the analysis employed by the Supreme Court as including a separate, implicit ‘threshold test’ for patentability that is applied even before consideration of the statutory patentability requirements. Eli Lilly hypothesizes that this ‘implicit exception was imposed to assure that patents cannot validly protect—or preempt access to—laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas.’

Injectable migraine treatment being developed by Alder, Eli Lilly, Amgen and others

Migraines are the result of a hereditary neurological disorder which causes certain areas of the brain to become over-excited, creating the throbbing pain and increased sensitivity to lights, smells or sounds which characterize a migraine attack. Not much is known about the brain chemistry that directly causes a migraine, although it’s generally understood that hormonal fluctuations or environmental stimuli can act as triggers. News of successful mid-stage trials for a migraine treatment developed by Alder Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has been greeted with a warm welcome from news media. The results of the trial show that an injectable treatment known as ALD403 administered four times over the course of a year reduced patient suffering from chronic migraines.

Abbott Labs acquires large Alere patent portfolio in $5.8 billion deal, increasing diagnostic lineup

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) of Chicago, IL, is poised to surge ahead in the global point-of-care medical diagnostics industry by acquiring Alere Inc. (NYSE:ALR) of Waltham, MA, in a $5.8 billion deal which values Alere at $56 per share. According a recent statement made by Abbott CEO Miles White to investors, the move will push the company’s annual diagnostic sales up to $7 billion. The acquisition is simply the latest major move in the medical device industry, a sector which saw more than 1,000 deals pending or completed last year for a net worth of $58.9 billion, according to statistics published by Bloomberg Business.

In midst of stiff corporate headwinds, Toshiba maintains spot as leading innovator

Toshiba exists among the giants of the U.S. patent landscape, placing sixth among all companies in terms of patents received from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2015; it took home 2,627 U.S. patents in 2015. This sixth-place showing sees Toshiba improving upon its 2014 rankings, where it took in the seventh-most U.S. patents. In terms of total U.S. patents, however, Toshiba actually earned less than it did in 2014, when it brought in 2,850 patents. In the three months leading up to this writing, Toshiba earned 677 U.S. patents, according to Innography’s patent portfolio analysis tools. The text cluster indicates that there remains a great deal of focus on developing semiconductor layer and memory technologies at Toshiba, although activities in control units, image processing and image data are also prominent.

EsoGlove, developed in Singapore, applies robotics to hand and nerve rehabilitation

Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed a robotic glove designed to improve patient rehabilitation after injuries or nerve-related conditions that may have affected a person’s full range of motion with his or her hand, such as those suffered by a stroke or from muscular dystrophy. The robotic glove unit, known as the EsoGlove, is mainly made of fabric which is secured to a user’s hand with Velcro straps and a number of soft actuator components. These soft actuators are pressurized by air to distribute forces along the length of a wearer’s finger to encourage natural movements like bending or twisting.

Texas Instruments maintains pace of innovation, focusing on signals and semiconductor devices

Texas Instruments has earned 825 U.S. patents through most of 2015, putting it on pace to perhaps slightly eclipse its 2014 totals. As the text cluster posted here shows our readers, much of TI’s recent R&D has focused on control signals, input signals and semiconductor devices… Short-range, low-power body area networks developed for medical purposes were featured by a pair of patent applications filed recently by Texas Instruments, including the innovation described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20150349839, entitled Ultra Wideband Modulation for Body Area Networks. It would protect a symbol modulation system having a symbol mapper configured to determine a time within a predetermined symbol transmission interval at which a transmission representative of the symbol will occur and then generate a single guard interval within the symbol transmission interval and positioned to terminate the symbol transmission interval. This body area network innovation establishes a physical layer which allows a receiver to identify and correct received data errors caused by channel issues. Physical layers in body area networks are also improved by the innovation discussed within U.S. Patent Application No. 20150350387, which is titled PHY Layer Options for Body Area Network (BAN) Devices. It claims a physical (PHY) layer method that involves performing body area network operations in a limited multipath environment using M-ary pre-shared keys (PSK), differential M-ary PSK or rotated differential M-ary PSK, and then transmitting BAN packets at a constant symbol rate. The use of physical layers to support BAN networking enables smarter medical devices, such as digital bandages that can measure and wirelessly transmit vital signs or pacemakers which can be fine-tuned after implantation.

The Top 10 Patents Issued in 2015

2015 was a truly remarkable year for innovation and we saw major trends in self-driving cars, wearable technologies, digital wallets and much more. I hope you will enjoy this top 10 listing, which includes innovations for providing water in arid regions, wireless charging systems for electronic devices and even the collection and retransmission of sunlight. Of course, as with all of these types of lists, the criteria used for inclusion on this list is subjective, based on my own personal preferences. Please feel free to let us know if you saw something particularly noteworthy in 2015.

Cell metabolism research starts path towards exercise pill, better cancer treatments

Although the American psyche may not always be interested in accomplishing the proper amount of exercise but it still craves the idea of being physically fit. And, as with most things, if there’s a quick shortcut to getting where we want to be, we’re going to try and take it. While some scoff at the idea of an exercise pill, but such an exercise pill could be useful for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease or diabetes for whom exercise is very beneficial but impossible to accomplish. And now the scientific world may be close to discovering chemical compounds useful for mimicking the biological processes stimulated by exercise, much to the delight of couch potatoes everywhere.

3D Printed Human Organs and the Debate on Applicable Patent Law

3D printed human organs are coming increasingly close to being a reality according to several reports. In addition to potentially saving thousands of lives every year, this ground-breaking technology raises issues related to patent law that cannot be ignored. Are human organs and/or tissues that are created through 3D printing process that use naturally-occurring cells eligible for patenting? Or are such organs and tissues considered to be products of nature and therefore ineligible for patenting? The America Invents Act (AIA) creates serious questions, as do some recent Supreme Court ruling on patent eligibility.