Collecting data, testing hypotheses, designing solutions for human health problems: these challenging and time-consuming preliminaries to successful invention are a significant source in the delays and costs of medical science development. Reports indicate that crowd-sourcing and internet-of-things techniques are being used to expedite this process and even gather previously unattainable information.

Some examples:

  • Football fans may have heard of Dartmouth College’s MVP (mobile virtual player), used to train college and professional football players, reducing the risk of concussion to players in practice tackles. Likewise, this device could be a useful and safer method of data collection regarding these forceful collisions.
  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation and technology giant Intel have been collaborating on a wearable device to collect information about the specific muscular and movement symptoms that Parkinson’s disease patients experience.
  • Cornell University researchers have collaborated with the Human Computation Institute to develop an online “citizen science” game, “Stall Catchers,” to sort through mouse brain scans, identifying blocked/sluggish capillaries. It’s part of a group of crowd-sourced research games developed for Alzheimer’s Disease research non-profit EyesOnALZ

What do patent information professionals need to know to be prepared for these multi-layered inventions: the crowd-sourcing, IoT, and data collection elements, the data analytics, the information security aspects, etc. What NPL sources will we track? How do university tech transfer programs see this?