David Shaywitz, MD, writing for The Health Care Blog, expresses concern over what he sees as a major issue in the medical device world: the gap between clinicians, healthcare providers and those on the front lines of health care and technologists and entrepreneurs eager to offer solutions. There are those with the skillset to manufacture and commercialize products and those that understand where the need is – but they rarely come together. For product developers, the lesson is to consult with those who work hands-on to really learn where the need is and how the product or technology will actually be used in the field. This will give the best insight into creating a technology with a competitive edge because it will be user-friendly and more easily adopted by the healthcare community.
Many people think of medical devices being invented by doctors, researchers, or large companies in the business of manufacturing or selling medical equipment. In my experience, great products are invented by nurses, aids, and therapists who devise practical work-arounds to existing devices and procedures. These inventors knew there had to be a better way and created one to make the job easier or to enhance patient comfort. These are some of the best inventions we see because they are practical and address well-known drawbacks. There is no need to create a market – it already exists. All that needs to be done is create awareness about the solution being offered.
With the internet, the independent inventor and entrepreneur can realize success in ways never before possible. Crowd-source funding, YouTube, and social media equalize the playing field in some areas, making commercial success within reach.
Are you a caretaker? Have you thought, “There must be a better way”? If you think you have invented something useful, it is worth speaking with a patent attorney before you make your idea public. An experienced patent attorney can help you identify if there is something that might be monetized and help develop a strategy for reaping the rewards of your innovation.