Wearable technology, from the simplest FitBit trackers to sophisticated wearable sensors such as those developed by dorsaVi, for physiotherapy, athletic and industry professionals, is booming. The continuing success of wearable tech is aided by intellectual property protections such as patents and trademarks that help their developers get funding and develop new markets.
In a recent interview with Ideas Matter, Ed Butler MCSP, Clinical Account Director at dorsaVi Europe described the great shift that is occurring in the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions through the effective use of wearable technologies in clinical practice and professional sports.
“When a player is injured, nine times out of ten the player will want to get back on the field as quickly as possible. Ten times out of ten the manager or the coach will want to get the player back on the field as quickly as possible. The physio and the medical team will as well, but obviously will have further considerations based around the risk of re-injury if the player gets back on the field too early.”
“There needs to be objective, measured data that can be used to help support these decisions,” said Butler. “Previously we relied on observational analysis, mimicking competitive situations and using professional judgement and knowledge of the injury history to make a decision. “
He continued: “Now, precision sensors can provide information that we previously couldn’t accurately record, such as the kinetic forces impacting different parts of the body and how and where the injured body is compensating. This allows us to make better informed decisions for our clients. The potential benefits of this wearable technology however exist beyond the sports field.”
From a start-up ten years ago, dorsaVi’s innovations have grown to include a range of professional wearable technology products and services including sensitive wearable sensors, software to collect raw data, algorithms to analyse and turn the data into useful information, as well as consulting services for workplaces. The technology foundation is in clinical practice, at sports teams training centres such as British Gymnastics, the England Cricket team and professional football teams, plus is being used in 75 academic research studies.
dorsaVi protects its innovations through intellectual property including patents and trademarks, which it has filed not only in its original Australia, UK and US markets but also in several other territories including Europe and China. The company also regards trade secrets as key to its business success.
“IP protection is crucial for any innovative company,” says Butler, “and for us it’s driven at board level. We’re a public company, so it would be foolish at best not to protect the work we’ve done. It’s in the interest of the shareholders that their investment, which went towards commercialising the products will be protected, and will see the company grow as much as possible.”