Tag Archives: technology

Do patents block innovation?

Innovation by nature requires the sharing of ideas, inspiration and information. It also thrives on open two way discussions and debates. Whereas patents by nature protect organisations pockets and stop the flow of information.

We understand that innovators and innovative companies need to gain recognition for their products and services and cover their research and development costs. However Docmate is all about innovation and moving the healthcare industry forward therefore we are not fans of patents. We think they do more harm than good.

Orion Armon, Partner at Cooley LLP, reports on Mobi Health News, that until now, the mobile health industry has experienced relatively few patent restrictions and conflicts. However he warns this peace may soon be disrupted as companies in the medical device, computer, networking, and communications industries are all patenting in the mobile health space.

The likely result Armon predicts is there will be a thicket of overlapping patents on mobile health products and their components. Already the number of mobile health patents issued by the Patent Office has increased incrementally from 2000 and it is predicted to continue to surge until at least 2014.

As this thicket grows, patent infringement conflicts will also grow, particularly as mobile health technologies mature and winners within the industry emerge. Armon, provides some tips for mobile health companies can manage patent infringement risk as follows:

  • If you have never been sued, consider purchasing insurance;
  • Properly structure IP indemnification rights and obligations;
  • Build-out your patent portfolio—even ancillary improvements in the mHealth space may become critical if they are widely adopted by your competitors;
  • Streamline your internal invention disclosure, review, and patent filing processes, and where appropriate, use the USPTO’s Track 1 process to accelerate examination of key patent applications;
  • Monitor competitors’ patent filings and patent portfolios, and consider making pre-issuance submissions of prior art during prosecution of competitors’ patents;
  • Proactively cross-license patents with key IP owners to expand your freedom to operate—or utilize commodity components from major companies who will indemnify you for their use; and
  • If competitors are infringing, consider enforcing your patents before your competitors’ patent portfolios mature.


Armon, Orion. 2012. Is mobile health about to enter a patent thicket? Retrieved 15 November 2012 from http://mobihealthnews.com/10-23-12-analysis-mhealths-patent- thicket-topol-leaves-west/

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Digital Health Investments Continue to Grow

Over one billion USD has been invested in digital health in 2012 alone. While there are currently no Australian based reports on the growth of digital health investments on home soil. The Australian market closely follows the US market therefore the trends in the US market are applicable to us.

At Docmate we are passionate about innovation, particularly within the healthcare realm. So we are excited at this news and the potential these funds have at bringing about real change to healthcare products and services.

The investment in digital health is an increase of $626 million from 2011 with approximately 103 digital health companies raising $2 million in funds or more in 2012. 128 venture capital firms have invested in digital health companies this year and 10% of the investors are new to digital health. While consumer facing offerings are still significant 2012 saw the majority of investment dollars (approximately $448 million) go towards companies with B2B business models.

For more information you can take a look at the report for yourself at the following link:


So what does this increase in investment mean for healthcare consumers? It means healthcare products and services will be increasingly more effective and up there with other industries in terms of leading edge technology. It means saving you time and money when managing your health.

Stay tuned at here at the Docmate blog to stay aboard of more advances in the world of digital health.


Dolan, B (2012). More than $1 billion in 2012 digital health investments so far. Retrieved 13 October 2012 from http://mobihealthnews.com/18666/more-than-1-billion-in-2012-digital-health-investments-so-far/

Rock Health (2012). Digital Health Q3 2012 Funding Report. Retrieved 13 October 2012 from http://www.slideshare.net/RockHealth

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Canterbury GP’s to get Free Text Messaging System

GP’s in Canterbury, New Zealand are being offered a free installation of Vensa Health’s TXT2Remind messaging system which is funded by the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).

Around 40 per cent of practices in the Canterbury region already use the system which permits GPs to send appointment, screening and immunisation reminders in addition to key health messages directly to their patients over text message.

The two year initiative will also provide a monthly allowance of text messages at no cost and plans to have the system rolled out in 95% of practices.

The TEXT2Remind System is administrated by Pegasus Health, the not-for-profit organisation that manages over 100 practices in Canterbury. The system however is available to any general practice providing primary healthcare and has been endorsed by the primary healthcare organisations in the region.

At DocMate we think this is a great initiative in the way forward to bringing the healthcare industry online and up to speed with other industries. It looks like our little brother New Zealand is getting ahead of the game with this move. To date no Australian State health boards have followed suit. We love all things to do with innovation particularly when it comes to digital healthcare. We are excited by this move from the CDHB and will keep you abreast of any health boards around Australia that follow CBDH’s move.


McDonald, Kate. 2012. Canterbury GPS to get free text messaging system. Retrieved
Thursday 20 September from http://www.pulseitmagazine.com.au/index.php?

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CeBIT talks to Denis Tebutt adviser to the National E-Health Transition Authority

Denis Tebutt has 40 years experiences in high technology business with over 30 of these being in the growing information technology sector. He has worked around the world in the manufacturing and finance industries and the past 10 years in the healthcare industry. For the past year he has been an advisor to the National Electronic Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).

Neerav Bhatt of CeBIT, the leading business exhibition for the Information Communications Technology Industry, recently interviewed Denis to gain an insight into how he sees space for growth in the IT industry for Australian Healthcare.

According the CeBIT, Australia invests approximately 1.8% of operating expense in healthcare IT, half of the worldwide average of 3.6%. Neerav explains Denis does not simply want to spend more but to spend more wisely and to do this will require a new type of engagement for the IT sector.

Denis tells Neerav the demand on the investment dollar in health is very high and growing everyday due to the industry’s constant growth in customers.

“Why you might ask, because we provide quality healthcare and are doing a very good job of providing longer lifetimes for those with chronic conditions. Basically we are becoming very good and successful at keeping people alive,” Denis tells Neerav.

On the flipside of this success, Denis believes, is the challenge of improving service to consumers and finding a solution on how to share information among medical practitioners.

“It’s crazy that sitting here I can book an airline ticket, hotel room, restaurant and a car but not make an appointment with my GP. My hairdresser sends me an sms and my dentist sends me an email as a reminder along with electronic birthday cards but my GP doesn’t enquire if I have taken my prescribed medication,” Denis explains to Neerav.

DocMate aims to contribute to the solution by offering medical professionals an opportunity to have an online presence to connect with their patients. Consumers can register and see their doctor’s online diary to book appointments. To register either as a healthcare professional or a consumer on DocMate click here.

For more information on Denis’ insights into opportunities on how the IT industry can transform Australian Healthcare you can visit the below link.


Bhatt, Neerav (2012). How IT Industry Can Transform Australian Healthcare. Retrieved 14 August from http://www.cebit.com.au/ehealth/2012/how-it-industry-can-transform-australian-healthcare

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Growth of healthcare industry’s online tools

Compared to other sectors such as retail, travel, and property the healthcare industry has been
slow to make the move online. Ironically for an industry that is so innovative and with ever evolving
treatments, medicines, and techniques it has only recently caught onto the power of technology.

One particular trend the healthcare industry has latched onto is the rise of consumers with
smartphones. According to a Cybercitizen Health Study by Manhattan Research, some 26% of US
adults used their mobile phones to access health information in 2011.

This had lead to multitudes of healthcare orientated applications of which 70% are geared towards
assisting the consumer according to MobiHealthNews. You can monitor your night’s sleep with an
app called Sleep Cycle, download a CRP application or First Aid pocket guides.

Electronic Health Records (EHR) are also on the rise, with the Manhattan Research study revealing
56 million US consumers had accessed their medical information on an EHR system maintained by
their physician, with another 41 million expressing interest in doing so in the future.

So where does DocMate come out to play in this environment? We are bringing your local general
practitioners and specialist’s diaries online so that you can see real time which appointments they
have available eliminating the need to call.

Not only is this beneficial to consumers who don’t have time to stay on hold to schedule their next
appointment or wait until the clinic opens to call but it also alleviates and renders more efficient the
clinics administration team.

So click here for more information on how you can register for DocMate. We would love to assist


Dolan, Brian (2012). Global Mobile Health Market Now Worth $11.8B by 2018. Retrieved Tuesday 7
August 2012 from http://mobihealthnews.com/

Gullo, Chris (2011). Study: 26 percent are mobile health users. Retrieved Tuesday 7 August 2012 from

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