BME100 f2016:Group1 W1030AM L1
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Electronic pill dispenser with timed release, biometric safety lock, provided by pharmacists with prescription medicines inside, with alarm notifications for pharmacists or other medical personnel, for patients' home use, especially when purchasing high-risk medicines
In order to prevent overdose just as well as forgetting to take medicine, pharmacies will provide patients our safe pill dispenser when purchasing high-risk medicine. This will cost them an additional fee, either for rent and for cleaning or for buying the dispenser for life-time use.
Health Care Issue
"2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non medically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day." (National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH)) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/trends-in-prescription-drug-abuse/how-many-people-abuse-prescription-drugs
The abuse of and addiction to opioids such as heroin, morphine, and prescription pain relievers is a serious global problem that affects the health, social, and economic welfare of all societies. It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. The consequences of this abuse have been devastating and are on the rise. For example, the number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has soared in the United States, more than quadrupling since 1999. There is also growing evidence to suggest a relationship between increased non-medical use of opioid analgesics and heroin abuse in the United States. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse
"Drug addiction is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, which in turn affect human behavior. Once addiction develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug craving, seeking and use." https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/medical-consequences-drug-abuse
Either to prevent addiction and treat it, our pill-dispenser is the perfect tool to use.
"High-alert medications are drugs that bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when they are used in error. Although mistakes may or may not be more common with these drugs, the consequences of an error are clearly more devastating to patients." https://www.ismp.org/tools/highalertmedications.pdf
List and describe the patent landscape and patent status. Will you own the space? Are there blocking patents you may end up infringing on?
1 No or weak patent applications or provisionals only
2 Non-provisional(s) filed and pending or issued patents, but weak
3 Strong, issued patents
The patent landscape in general is not promising. This area has a lot of competition, and the availability of new patents is small due to the coverage in the area. The product vision of this group, even with all the proposed improvements, may not produce something that can be patented because many of the improvements may be seen as obvious in light of the prior art. A novel product or a novel improvement is necessary to obtain a patent.
Automatic pill dispenser II
U.S. Patent No. US5641091A
Legal Status: Expired-Fee Related
Application No. US08399912
This system is really designed for people who forget to take their medicine. It holds the medication in small spaces that rotate to allow the person to pick up the pills through a small window. The unit has a round piece that rotates around a center, with multiple small spaces that will hold a dose of a patients' medications. The unit also has a "Pill Sample illustrator" that is attached and will show samples of the pills, as well as their names, nature and dosages.
Modular medication dispensing system and apparatus utilizing portable memory device
U.S. Patent No. US4695954A
Legal status: Expired-Fee Related
Application No. US06663916
This "system, apparatus and method" (as it was patented as such) is for dispensing medications prescribed by a doctor or other qualified medical personnel. This particular patented system makes use of a portable memory device, for example one described within the patent materials is a magnetic card. It would store prescription information on the card as programmed by a pharmacy. The container has individual compartments where the pills would be placed. The portable memory device and the container are "transported together to a medication dispenser located near a patient." (To me this sounds like another physical building location like a pharmacy or doctor's office.) This dispenser naturally has a device to read the memory device. It makes medication within the individual compartments available to the patient at prescribed times. It "also includes apparatus for monitoring whether or not the patient is complying with the prescribed medication schedule. Patient compliance information is stored within the memory device." It also has a monitor which would allow medical personnel to "obtain a video display or printed record of the prescription information and patient compliance information within the memory device.
4.2 IP Risks
Our biggest risk in IP beyond the obvious lack of patents, is that the product may not be able to get a new patent issued. The product would have to show substantial non-obvious improvement over prior art, and it is not clear that the product vision of this group will meet that test.
Fundability Worksheet Scores
1--Crowded market space, Differentiation will be difficult--However we think we have several different ideas that will differentiate us in the market (patentability is still a question whether it will be enough of an improvement)
1--Conservatively--Hesitant interest to purchase or Not enough customer feedback to date--We believe there is not enough actual feedback, but there is a market need and customers have a wide variety of similar devices without our improvements. We are also beginning with a target market of the physicians and pharmacists, which is a slightly different entry.
0 maybe a 1--No or weak patent applications or Provisionals only-- if we can differentiate enough to be a valid improvement