Anecdotal evidence suggests that innovative medical devices often arise from physicians’ inventive activity, but few studies have documented the extent of such physician-engaged innovation. This 2008 paper uses patent data and the American Medical Association Physician Masterfile to provide evidence that physicians contribute to medical device innovation, accounting for almost 20 percent of approximately 26,000 medical device patents filed in the United States during 1990–1996. Moreover, two measures indicate that physician patents had more influence on subsequent inventive activity than nonphysician patents. This finding supports the maintenance of an open environment for physician-industry collaboration in the medical device discovery process.
The obstacles mostly have to do with 1) developing personal and professional physician entrepreneurial competencies, 2) the medtech innovation ecosystem, and 3) overcoming the barriers to physician-industy collaboration.
Overcoming the latter will require:
For too long, two critical partners in the life science innovation roadmap have been marginalized or excluded-physicians and their patients. It's time to remove the barriers to collaboration to further catalyze the rapid transformation of sickcare to healthcare.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.