Are Google Patents Skin Deep?

Innovation in the medical device arena continues with news that Google is exploring skin implants that assist in diagnostic tests.   In essence, patients may not need to visit their doctor since your sweat and blood sample data will be delivered seamlessly over the internet through an antenna attached to a companion device, probably a smart phone.

Conceivably it will replace finger-prick tests that are used by, for example, diabetes sufferers.   If glucose levels were to spike, micro needles are automatically triggered delivering the drug metformin to stabilize blood sugar levels.

The device represents a radical approach in reducing time spent collecting blood work and waiting for results. In a typical scenario, a person’s blood is drawn and sent to a lab where a variety of tests are performed to measure various analyte levels and parameters in the blood.

The variety of tests may be referred to as “blood work,” where the blood is tested for the presence of various diseases, or analyte levels such as cholesterol levels, etc.

However, for most people, the blood tests are infrequent, and an abnormal analyte level indicative of a medical condition may not be identified for some time after the blood work is performed.

The inventors state in the patent brief that many modifications and variations can be made without departing from its spirit and scope, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art, suggesting a myriad of complementary applications in the medical device patent field.

The device described above falls under a new catch phrase called implantable tech, an area I am watching closely in the medical device arena.  There are literally hundreds of these implant devices being explored around the world.

For instance, a team of Swiss researchers have created a device that can be implanted in the skin and generates antibodies so that the immune system can combat degenerative plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The implants are designed to deliver a continuous flow of amyloid-beta-fighting antibodies into the patient’s system over the course of 10 months.

Filing these types of medical device patents are notoriously difficult. One tiny mistake in your patent filing could put 20 years of exclusive ownership of your medical idea or invention at risk.  Infringement cases have often in the past centered around the incorrect use and spelling of medical terms, changing the entire context of the application.

If you are considering a medical device patent and need some guidance on how to proceed, how to protect your idea, or even how to eventually profit from your invention, then confidentially post your question below and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

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