I love building new things, and coming up with new ideas. The ability to create new products and solutions has always been great fun. One of the things I wanted to do since early in my career was to have a patent in my name.
At my first professional software job at Kodak back in 1997, I remember closely working with a lot of really brilliant engineers. One engineer in our team who’s name I sadly cannot remember had over 100 patents issued. His entire job was to come up with radical new ideas and see if he could make them work. He had no other responsibilities which at that time was quite rare. At the time I thought it was pretty incredible that was his only job. Since then, I always wanted to be a patented inventor.
Well, today I can say that I am officially a patented inventor!
So What is the Invention?
During my work at Pleiotek, I was a co-inventor on a series of ideas that resulted in Patent 10786395: “Apparatus for Processing Healthcare Data and Storing and Transmitting Large Amounts of Data via a Bandage or Sticker”. Yeah that doesn’t roll of the tongue I know.
In short, this patent captures the idea behind storing patient medical data on the patient itself. Imagine a soldier injured in a battle, or someone hurt in a mass protest. In these urgent and tense situations, timely patient care is critical. But in these types of scenarios, the patient will need to be made safe, and ultimately moved to higher echelons of care.
We must retain records of patient injuries and care. Incorrect or incomplete patient records can cause mistakes. For example, a patient in pain may be administered a dose of morphine. Morphine can be fatal in high doses. So it is critical that providers know if a patient has already received the medication.
The current state of the art for tracking patient data in these situations is weak. Patient data is written on very small cards, or on the patient via sharpie. Yes really. In some cases mobile devices are used to track data, but it is rare in the theatre of war or in mass casualty situations.
The system that we invented helps care givers both track medical data and provides a way for the data to easily travel with the patient. We invented various techniques for embedding data storage in bandages or very small patient worn devices. This allows care givers to record the patient’s medical information directly on the smart bandage or device on the patient. Now patient data follows the patient wherever they go. This ensures their medical record is complete and accurate. It also ensures care providers have all the information they need to provide the best care.
The idea and technology is great. Although I am no longer part of Pleiotek, I am hopeful that they can bring this technology to market. This idea can be a great help to our military as they treat soldiers who sustain non-combat or battle injuries. It will also help our local emergency healthcare teams as they treat large events with lots of patients and hand offs between providers.