A Medical Device Patent Story Has Turned Into a Cautionary Tale (MedTech Download)

Kelly Springs-Kelley
December 17, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • A recent Federal Circuit patent case exposed the need for manufacturers to be cautious in how they write their medical device patent. Companies are urged to consider not only what they are producing, but the method by which they achieve results.
  • Rather than treat individual ailments, “metabesity” highlights that root causes for many common diseases are metabolic and should be approached holistically.
  • With the increased use of telehealth technology during the pandemic, cyber threats have been on the rise.

Is ‘How?’ More Important Than ‘What?’ A Cautionary Medtech Patenting Tale

Medical device patents should be carefully considered,

There are several key elements to address when bringing novel technology to market. One of the first, and most important, is protecting the innovation via a medical device patent. This process is intuitive, commonplace, and foundational. But patent protection is only as good as the patent itself. Recently, a Federal Circuit case served as a cautionary tale for MedTech entrepreneurs. It highlighted how critical it is to be cautious about how inventions are claimed in patents.

The issue, as the article summarizes, shines a light on the fact that a device’s function may take precedence over what it actually does. The author explains that “medical device manufacturers would be wise to claim the specific aspects that demonstrate the improvements in their invention and not merely recite them in the broader patent specification.” In other words, the author advises that there is wisdom in writing a medical device patent to “claim a specific method or mechanism — rather than a result.” Read more here.

LabCorp Gets EUA for First At-Home Collection COVID-19 Test with No Prescription

Since COVID-19 entered our lives, it has dominated headlines. Unfortunately, most of those headlines are sobering, detailing the toll the pandemic has taken on individuals, families, and society as a whole. But recently there has been good news. Much of it has surrounded the distribution of the first doses of an FDA approved vaccine to the most vulnerable. Yet, even as we march on with inoculation, it will be months before there are enough vaccines to protect everyone.

This is why diagnostics and better COVID-19 testing have maintained at the forefront of the battle against the virus. And the more tests we can conduct – especially for those who are asymptomatic – the better we will be able to control outbreaks while we wait for vaccination. LabCorp recently received approval for its at-home COVID-19 test, the first to be available without a prescription.

Conquering Metabesity: Expert Panel Discusses Roadmap To Find Solutions

When it comes to medicine, the healthcare discipline is about as multifaceted as they come. Our bodies alone are complex, so we have specialists who dedicate their lives to one system or another. Our minds add another layer. While the cost of mental health is hard to nail down, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that “the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality cites a cost of $57.5B in 2006 for mental health care in the U.S., equivalent to the cost of cancer care.”

With the multitudes of specialists and healthcare disciplines, our approach to caring for the body can be compartmentalized. However, there is a growing chorus of experts who are pointing out the interconnectedness of human health conditions. The term “metabesity” refers to “the constellation of cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases, diabetes, and the aging process itself, all of which share the common metabolic root causes and potential preventive therapies.” A panel of experts recently discussed how the concept of “metabesity” and new approaches to treatment could benefit patients.

BD Calls for ‘Zero Trust’ to Combat Rising Healthcare Hacking Amid Pandemic

During the pandemic, telehealth has been a lifesaver (sometimes literally). Once the healthcare industry and society as a whole realized that living with the virus was more of a marathon than a sprint, practices changed. While it’s been around for years, telehealth quickly went from a “nice to have” to a must. Digital health-related innovations, such as remote monitoring tools, were fast-tracked. And now that, with a vaccine, visions of life after are coming into focus, it’s also clear that some things, like tele-and digital health, are here to stay.

With this paradigm shift comes a host of unintended consequences, one of them, an increased emphasis on cybersecurity. According to MedTech Dive, “Cybersecurity threats have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when healthcare providers are increasingly relying on telehealth and remote patient monitoring to care for patients.” The article reports that MedTech giant BD has called for ‘zero trust’ to combat the problem.

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