Industry Voices—The patent environment around IoT and blockchain is complex. Here’s what medical device companies need to know

There are several reasons medical device companies need to consider blockchain issues along with the internet of things. IoT will soon become a widespread technology, and it will require new levels of security and integrity in a healthcare setting.

Beyond the ability to track a device or ensure custody over the chain of title—all things that are easily done without blockchain—if you are working to get nearer to your end user by harnessing data, blockchain could be critical.

If your strategic plan includes reconfiguring your company’s vertical integration, you will likely benefit from blockchain applications. If you are moving beyond manufacturing and integrating products and services into healthcare solutions, blockchain can be a crucial differentiator and eventually a necessity for success.


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Each of these strategies may be achieved by connected medical devices actively producing patient data within a larger connected environment. Ensuring the integrity of the device and the data it produces is critical for the success of these strategies. The device and the data must be protected against intentional hacking or unintentional errors.

RELATED: Accenture: AI, blockchain will have ‘transformational’ impact in next 3 years

The patent environment related to these two domains is already complicated and in a state of continued expansion. It will be years before consolidation and greater order comes to this environment. It is, therefore, advised that companies entering this environment with products and solutions have a coherent patent strategy in place.

In addition, protecting your own innovations related to IoT and blockchain will have critical implications for the implementation of your strategies. These technologies pose unique…

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