How many patents does Children's Hospital Boston have and how many are devices vs. medications? What percent has adult applications or are they all for kids?
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) at Children's has the responsibility of evaluating the basic science and clinical research that goes on here for patentability and commercial potential. It's our mission to translate Children's world-class research into products that can positively impact patient care and outcomes here and worldwide. Now for some statistics:
The IPO has opened roughly 2,000 cases since tracking began in the early '90s. Of those, Children's has been issued more than 500 U.S. and foreign patents (approximately 260 U.S. and 258 foreign); this doesn't include patents that have since expired or current pending patent applications, so it's is a low estimate of the total.
The IPO has 156 active cases that have issued patents and 20 of these relate to devices, but only one is solely a pediatric application! There are also another 257 active cases with pending patent applications; 27 of these are related to devices, but only three are entirely pediatric in their use: a computer controlled bottle for oral feeding, a preterm infant breastfeeding system and a plagiocephaly prevention pad.
Outside of devices, our patents are not just all medications and therapeutics, although Children's researchers are generating many new and exciting discoveries in this area every day. In reality, with the breadth of research here, we see an array of innovations, including research tools and drug discovery mechanisms, diagnostic tests for various diseases and disorders and software programs that will allow for better patient data and health record management. The most rewarding part is that while Children's research and innovation is driven by our clinical excellence and experience with the children who come to our hospital, the translation of that innovation into products is generally for the benefit of patients, both pediatric and adult, worldwide.
Thanks for asking!
— Erik Halvorsen, PhD
Director of Technology and Business Development
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