Information technology plays a vital role in healthcare
The next decade will mark a turning point for the healthcare industry. As healthcare reform and the economy continue to present challenges, innovative advancements in healthcare information technology (IT) will provide the key not only to ensuring compliance with new legal requirements but also to reducing costs and improving patient care.
Healthcare facilities across the United States are racing to meet the increased security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Data storage management systems are playing a fundamental role in keeping patient records in a timely, secure, and easily accessible manner. Advancements in picture archiving and communications systems (PACS), electronic medical records (EMR), and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) solutions are being implemented at a rapid pace. Physicians’ use of mobile computing is growing significantly, allowing healthcare providers to share electronic patient records and other information without delay. Almost all clinicians are using a software knowledge-based application or online reference tool each and every day. And hospitals are employing handheld mobile devices to access drug reference databases, reference manuals, and patient records.
Advances in e-prescribing and healthcare information systems are reducing medical errors and improving health outcomes for patients. Practice management solutions for physicians such as electronic scanning and storage of records are increasingly being used to enhance productivity of administration, facilitate insurance claim processing, and centralize electronic record keeping and management.
As modern medicine grows in complexity and moves beyond the capacity of human retention—there are thousands of diagnoses, drugs, and medical and surgical procedures available today—these technologies provide the necessary tools to advance patient care and service to the next level.
Protecting investments in innovative technologies
Backed by more than 350 intellectual property lawyers, Finnegan has a distinct advantage in assisting clients with protecting and leveraging new healthcare IT technologies. Among our valued clients are industry leaders in the fields of software, document management, wireless technologies, and mobile solutions, as well as many companies in the medical device area. We counsel them on the full range of IP issues:
- Drafting and prosecuting patent applications.
- Writing opinions and providing ongoing counseling for new and evolving technologies.
- Developing licensing programs.
- Conducting due diligence investigations.
- Developing portfolio management strategies.
- Protecting against infringement through litigation or other dispute resolution options.
- Providing trademark protection and counseling.
The depth of our legal and scientific expertise offers a unique advantage
Many solutions in healthcare IT require professionals who understand not only the nuances of the healthcare field, but also the technologies behind the innovations. Others will require a multidisciplinary approach involving a team of specialists with in-depth knowledge of a particular aspect of healthcare IT. This is where Finnegan excels. The scope and depth of Finnegan’s technical experience spans electrical and computer technologies, software, biotechnology, industrial manufacturing, mechanical engineering, nanotechnology, and other related fields. Our extensive experience positions us to understand both the science at the foundation of our clients’ intellectual property assets and the relevant legal issues. More than 90 of our professionals have Ph.D.’s, and more than 100 have Masters of Science degrees. Our talent pool includes former in-house counsel, patent examiners, researchers, and engineers.
Understanding the software challenge
Many healthcare IT inventions involve a multidisciplinary approach with computer software. When evaluating our clients’ software for protection, we consider and balance many unique issues, such as development speed, ease of market entry, market fluidity, changing alliances, and ease of copying. We also evaluate current industry trends, pending legislation and case law, potential product and industry developments, and the effect of those developments on our clients’ software protection. We then advise our clients on how to best protect their software through patents, copyrights, and trade secrets, and we guide them around the intellectual property barriers created by others.
Vast experience in related disciplines
We have handled matters for clients in virtually every area of the IT sector:
- Secure data storage and transmission
- Web-based software applications
- Medical devices
- Wireless communications and mobile networking
- Digital imaging, compression, and storage
- Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
- Electronic medical records
- Radiology information systems
- Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems