Name: Collin A. Friedrich
LAB 1 WRITE-UP
Health Care Issue
Many people today suffer from rapid involuntary movements known as tremors. There are few treatments that address this issue proficiently. Tremors disrupt the patient's daily activities such as: eating, drinking, writing, dressing, etc. Most current treatments are administered through medications which often lead to adverse effects. Our device aims to circumnavigate these adverse effects through the use of electronically administered signals while remaining non-invasive. This could potentially lower an individual's risk for health issues by getting rid of medications for this well-known issue.
The market has a small number of comparable products.
Relatively open market. The market for medical devices only has one other device.
Similar technologies are being used to counter tremors, however, they are being used in a different fashion.
The tremor preventing bracelet is an exciting new concept for customers since it's wearable and easy to incorporate into patients' everyday lives. The Gyro Glove is a product embraced by Parkinson's foundations that addresses the same tremor problem, but with different technology. This concept can extend to anyone who needs a steady hand, whether it's for surgery, dentistry, sports, or art.
Parkin, Simon. "Hope in a Glove for Parkinson's Patients." MIT Technology Review. N.p., 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.
Insurance companies can choose whether to cover this product or not. For Parkinson treatments the coverage varies. Since this product is an enhancement of the patient's condition, not necessarily a cure, the cost will mostly come from the patient. Insurance companies do understand the interest customers may have, which may incentivise them to classify it as a deductible.
Medtronic. "Parkinson's Disease and Insurance Coverage for Medtronic DBS Therapy." Parkinson's Disease and Insurance Coverage for Medtronic DBS Therapy. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2016.
Physicians recognize that although no treatment for tremors come without their side effects, non-invasive technology or treatment seems to be more of a suitable choice for patients. Medication such as Primidone have given patients a "first dose phenomenon" which causes them to experience unsteadiness, dizziness and nausea early into their treatment. Other medications such as Propranolol have demonstrated less success and physicians will steer away from medications that, for instance, cannot be used if the patient has asthma, emphysema, or even diabetes. With the tremor preventing bracelet, medical professionals can treat patients in a non-invasive way that can be an alternative to not just medication but also surgical procedures. McNamara, L. (n.d.). Essential Tremor Treatment at the Johns Hopkins Movement Disorders Center in Baltimore, MD. Retrieved September 06, 2016.
Hospitals and clinical settings will be very enthusiastic about a product like this due to the margins. No labor is required to bestow it to a customer so the overhead costs would be reduced. This may possibly reduce the extensive physical therapy treatments for patients, reducing the work of the hospital. It is also of lesser risk than "Deep Brain Stimulation" and other surgical procedures. Staff, By Mayo Clinic. "Parkinson's Disease." Treatments and Drugs. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2016.
Google has already purchased Lift Labs, which was a start up to electronic smart spoons that are designed to help those with Parkinson's or tremors make the task of eating with utensils easier. The reason for Google purchasing Lift Labs was, as they wrote, because “Their tremor-canceling device could improve quality of life for millions of people.”. Google has also stated that the company wishes to extend that technology beyond just food consumption. This move by Google illustrates that even large companies can look into purchasing a product that has the potential to be expanded upon if it possesses promising technology. Cooney, M. (2014, September 16). Google Purchases Maker of Smart Spoon Device... Helps Compensate For Tremors. - Industry Tap. Retrieved September 07, 2016.
Currently, there is not a full patent on the device that we are planning on doing. Some of the patents out there for similar devices are: "Small wristband for quantitatively evaluating motion function for Parkinson's patients", Application number: CN 201510020813,
Filing date: 2015-01-15.
Summary: The device is a ring around the hand, much like a wristband which quantitatively detects assessments of motor skills in patients. The ring has a computer which detects patterns and signals of the tremor. Once the data is recorded, it is sent to a program wirelessly where physicians and patients can view the results. They have the patent over bracelets that assess the severity of Parkinson's but not that counteract it, such as our device. This could be an issue because ours will read data and counteract it in order to reduce the tremor. The difference is that ours will not be reporting data back wirelessly to physicians but instead using that data to reduce the tremor.
(No Image Found)
Next, there is a device called "Devices and methods for controlling tremor"
Application Number: US14805385,
Filing Date: 2015-07-21,
Current Assignee: CALA HEALTH INC.
Summary: The device is a stimulator for the peripheral nerve to treat tremors and Parkinson's disease. This has the same market as ours. This device can either be implanted or noninvasive but stimulates the peripheral nerve through electrical, mechanical, and chemical means. This is different from ours because we will be using only mechanics through vibrations to cancel out the tremor instead of electrical and chemical means. Our device is also a wristband instead of an implantable or noninvasive device that sticks to the skin. The patent is of a device that is worn in which detects tremors and reduces tremors by "delivering the first electrical stimulus to a first afferent nerve through the first peripheral nerve effector". This should not be an issue for our device because we are not using electrical stimulus in order to stabilize the tremor. Instead, we will be using vibrations. Further, our design is more comfortable for the users because it will not be implanted or invasive and connected to a tense unit.
Fundability Worksheet Scores
For Competitors, our product would receive a 2 because the market does have competitors but these competitors offer invasive technologies while our technology aims to pain free.
For Customer Validation, our product would most likely receive a score of a 2. There are already products in the market that have found appeal to masses. Also, ours provides an interest in the sense that the five P’s will find something that benefits them.
For the IP Position, our product would be ranked at a 2 because there are similar patents pending but they do not work in the same manner as ours. Therefore, the patents already out there do not pertain to our device.