The digital healthcare industry grew on the shoulder of the medical industry, which itself has seen rapid growth since the introduction of forceps knives, scalpels, and saws a millennia ago. 5G technology is expected to make smart digital healthcare devices easier and offer better user experiences. It is difficult to predict what the future holds for medical healthcare technology. I have helped numerous startups patent their digital healthcare inventions and know that there will be many unicorns coming from this space. Digital health founders need to protect their IP to make sure that their plans for going to market don’t get disrupted. Here are some trends for digital healthcare entrepreneurs to consider when securing patent protection for their inventions.
Digital Healthcare Trends
Digital healthcare is a rapidly evolving field, with new technologies and trends emerging all the time. Digital healthcare products and services include:
- Telemedicine: The use of video conferencing, phone calls, and other digital tools to provide remote medical consultations and treatment.
- Wearable technology: Devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers that can monitor health data and provide personalized health information.
- Electronic health records (EHRs): The use of digital systems to store and manage patient health information, with the goal of improving the quality and coordination of care.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: The use of AI and machine learning to analyze health data and improve the accuracy of diagnoses, treatment plans, and other medical decisions.
- Blockchain: The use of blockchain technology to secure and share health data, with the goal of improving data privacy and interoperability.
- Personalized medicine: The use of genetic and other data to tailor medical treatment to the unique characteristics of individual patients.
- Mobile health (mHealth): The use of smartphones and mobile devices to deliver health information, monitoring, and care.
As healthcare becomes increasingly digitized, it’s likely that these trends will continue to evolve and expand, leading to new opportunities for improving patient care, reducing costs, and increasing access to healthcare services. Here are some possible forecasts for the industry:
- Increased use of wearable technology: Smartwatches and other wearable medical devices will be more popular for monitoring and tracking vital indicators such as heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, and heartbeat.
- Telemedicine advances: Medical devices will become more common in combination with telemedicine. This allows patients to communicate with their healthcare professionals remotely, allowing remote diagnosis and monitoring.
- Increased use of AI and machine learning: Medical devices will incorporate AI and technology to increase accuracy, speed, and efficiency in diagnosis and treatment.
- 3D printing will see an increase in use: 3D printing technology is being used more often to create custom medical devices, implants, and prosthetics such as orthotics and prosthetics.
- Improvements in minimally invasive procedures. Medical devices will continue their development to make the procedures more invasive. This reduces recovery time and improves patient outcomes.
- Remote monitoring and patient management will be given more attention. Medical device technology will become increasingly used to allow patients to manage their chronic conditions and monitor their health from home.
- Increased use of connected devices: IoT will allow medical devices to be connected to share data and monitor patients’ health. This will enable remote diagnosis and treatment.
- Implantable technology advances: Implantable technology will continue to improve with smaller, more wireless devices and longer battery lives. This makes it easier for patients and reduces the need for replacements.
These are just a few of the possibilities for future medical device technology. However, technology and medical research will continue to improve, so it is possible that new developments will occur.
Digital Health Patent Cost
The cost of patenting a digital health invention varies depending on the complexity of the app, the patent sought, and the attorney fees. These are only some examples of how much it will cost to get a patent on a digital healthcare solution.
- Patent Search: A patent search costs from several hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the complexity of the application.
- Patent attorney fees: These fees vary depending on the complexity of the app and the attorney’s experience and expertise. They can range from a few thousand to thousands of dollars.
- Patent application fees: The fee for patent applications varies depending on the type of patent sought. Design patents tend to be more expensive than utility patents. For a non-provisional utility request, the USPTO charges approximately $900 for small entities and $1600 for large companies.
- Maintenance fees: Fees are required to keep a patent in effect after it has been granted. The fees are due three, seven, and eleven years after the grant.
- International fees: Additional fees may apply if the application must be filed in another nation.
The cost of preparing a patent application can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of patent (utility or design), the complexity of the invention, the stage of the patent application process, and the attorney or agent handling the application.
On average, the cost of preparing a utility patent application can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, while design patent application cost is generally lower than that of utility patents.
When it comes to the cost per word in a patent, it varies greatly depending on the attorney or agent, the complexity of the invention, and the specific needs of the client. Some patent attorneys or agents may charge by the hour, while others may charge a flat fee.
It’s worth noting that the cost of patent applications can vary widely depending on the attorney or agent you choose and the specific circumstances of your case. It’s always best to get a quote from a few different patent attorneys or agents to get an idea of the cost and to understand what’s included in the quote.
It’s also worth noting that the patent application process can take time, and the cost of a patent application can increase if the patent office requests additional information or if the patent is contested, so it’s important to budget for these additional costs as well.
The largest part of the total cost is borne by patent attorneys’ fees so we have divided the fees according to type.
Before you can market your invention, a provisional patent is a wise investment. This grants you the status of “patent pending”, which protects your ideas. An attorney who is a patent attorney may charge between $3,000 and $10,000.
You will need to file a non-provisional request if you wish to apply for patent protection. This must be filed within one calendar year of filing for a provisional or equivalent patent. It will cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on how complex the application is.
GUI Design Patent
Startups consider it equally important that the design and ornamental appearance of digital healthcare solutions be protected, as well as the software interface. This is where a design patent can be of assistance. Combining your utility patent application and your design patent is smart. This will protect your software’s functionality and appearance. A skilled patent attorney will assist you with the preparation of your application for a patent design. A design patent application can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000
These are estimates only. Each case is unique and will have its own costs. A patent attorney can help you get an accurate estimate of the cost to patent a digital health solution or a medical device.
Why is patenting a Digital healthcare solution so costly?
Patenting a digital health solution or a medical device is a costly process because of several factors.
- Complex technology: Many digital health systems involve complex technology. To fully understand and justify the invention, it is necessary to have a solid understanding of engineering and medical principles. Drafting and prosecuting a patent application, can take a lot of time and effort.
- Prior art search: It can be expensive and time-consuming to conduct a thorough search of prior art for a digital healthcare solution. This is especially true if the device is a part of a new field or technology.
- Validation and testing: To ensure they are safe and effective, digital health solutions often require validation and testing. These tests can be costly and time-consuming, so the results may be required to be included in a patent application.
- Attorney’s fees: The cost of a patent attorney fee can vary from a few thousand dollars up to tens or thousands of dollars depending on the complexity and attorney’s expertise.
- Patent application fees: Fees for patent applications vary depending on what type of patent is sought. Utility patents are more expensive than design patents. A non-provisional utility application costs the USPTO between $300 and $600.
- International fees: Additional fees may be charged if the application is to be filed in another country.
These costs are only estimates. Actual costs will vary depending on the particulars of each case. To get a precise estimate of the cost to obtain a patent for a digital healthcare solution or a medical device, it is a good idea to consult a patent attorney.
How can you find the best patent attorney?
An expert in digital healthcare solutions or medical device patent law can help you save money on patent protection. A digital health patent attorney will provide guidance on patentability and the best way to obtain it. These are just a few of the many ways that a domain expert patent attorney could help you save money.
- It’s cost-effective: A medical patent attorney can conduct a thorough search of all prior art and identify any obstacles. Then, they will draft the patent application to maximize its chances of being granted. This will help you save money in the long term.
- Prosecution: A patent attorney will prosecute the application. This will allow you to save time and money.
- Licensing and Monetization: A specialist in digital health or medical device patent law can provide guidance on licensing and monetization strategies that are tailored to the medical market. This could help to generate revenue from the patent.
- Legal disputes: A skilled attorney in patent and medical device law can help you identify potential infringement issues and take legal action to protect the patent. This is a great way to save money in the long term.
Experienced patent attorneys in digital health/medical devices are a great help to inventors. They can increase their chances of having their patent applications granted. They ensure that the patent is properly protected, monetized, and maintained. This will help them save money.
start Your digital healthcare patent application now!
Investors often gravitate to digital healthcare and medical devices with both FDA approval and patent status. Patents give the company the exclusive right to the invention and prohibit others from using it or selling it without permission. This allows companies to recover development costs and FDA clearance. FDA approval means that the device has met the FDA’s strict safety and effectiveness standards and can legally be sold in the United States.
FDA approval can help a company gain a competitive advantage in the market, as it gives them a legal framework to market and sell their products. This gives potential investors the assurance that the product has been thoroughly vetted and is safe.
An FDA-approved, patented medical product can make a company stand out in a highly competitive market. This can increase its success rate and attract investors.
FDA approval allows the company to expand internationally, and even enter new markets. The US has some of the most stringent regulations in the world and the device is already approved.
FDA and patent approvals for medical devices are more appealing investments. They give you exclusive rights to the invention as well as the legal framework to make it commercially viable. They are also safer and more secure to use.
Many factors influence the timing of filing a medical patent application. These factors include the stage of development and industry competition. These are all important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to file a patent application for a medical device.
- Timing of development: It’s a good idea to file patent applications as soon as possible. This must be done before the app is made public or published. Many countries, including the United States, allow an inventor a one-year grace period after the first public disclosure of an invention. This is before they lose their patent rights.
- It is important to consider the competitive landscape when deciding when to file patent applications. If there are similar apps or patents in the same field, it may be advantageous to start the patent application process earlier.
- It is important to take into account the company’s business strategy when deciding when to file patent applications. It is crucial to start the patent application process immediately if the company plans to generate revenue from licensing the app. This will ensure that the patent is granted before it goes public.
- Provisional application: Before you submit your final application, you can file a provisional request. This will allow you to get the application completed faster and give you a priority date.
The specific circumstances of each company and app will determine the timing of the digital healthcare/ medical device patent application process. To determine the best course of action, it is important to consult with a patent attorney.