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Articles

Rise of the machines

June 26, 2014

Articles

Rise of the machines

June 26, 2014

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This article first appeared on www.lifesciencesipreview.com and is reprinted with permission.

Healthcare is getting personal. Just as a greater understanding of genetics paved the way for a revolution in medicine, making made-to- measure treatment programmes a reality for many patients, advances in technology are sparking another revolution.

Digital health, which brings together digital and genetic data to improve healthcare, will play a vital role in personalised medicine. But there will be significant challenges when it comes to protecting this innovative new areas. LSIPR looks at its uses and the potential challenges.

The big technology players—such as Samsung and Google—are putting smaller, more powerful devices into the hands of many, and creating infrastructures to store our data.

Combining the data generated by wearable technologies such as the upcoming Apple iWatch and Fitbit’s wristband products, which track our vital signs, with the analytical capabilities of smartphones can bring about a greater understanding of our overall health.

In a phenomenon coined ‘the internet of things’, our devices can talk to each other via apps and alert us to any issues, even connecting with our healthcare providers.

According to figures quoted in a law firm Pinsent Masons Winter 2013 report, by 2015 an estimated 500 million smartphone users worldwide will be using a healthcare application.

With our smartphones acting as our personal doctors, digital health offers an incredibly efficient approach that can cut healthcare costs and reduce the failure rate of one-size-fits-all treatment programmes.

However, what are the protections available for the systems behind digital health, which occupies an intersection of biology and software?

Read the full story – Rise of the Machines – available as a PDF. Fish’s Tamara Fraizer provides some perspective as an intellectual property expert and explores the significant challenges this industry is expected to face.

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