The CB Insights database has been capturing company patents for some time now, and they can be a good indicator of a company’s direction.
For example, they can help us figure out what stealthy startups are up to. We did an analysis of the patents coming out of stealth AI companies, and a large chunk of them are in the healthcare space. This company Elira is making a wearable + electrode combination to shock you into feeling more full. And who said dieting wasn’t fun?
Or my favorite, Syntilla Medical, which is making “implantable head located radiofrequency coupled neurostimulation system for head pain” aka a cure for migraines.
But it’s not just startups. We can also get a sense of larger companies trying to enter the healthcare space. We analyzed this new Microsoft patent which looks like a Shazam for food using augmented reality glasses. This could be useful for lifestyle management in chronic disease patients, for dietitians as a whole, or for remote mothering.
My colleague Kerry (who runs our auto tech newsletter) pointed out that even car companies are moving into healthcare. Ford recently filed a patent to enter the wearable analytics space and react if it thinks you’re unwell. Plus Audi partnered with a digital health incubator, which means healthcare could be one route that car companies use to avoid being commoditized by ride-sharing.
If you’re a CB Insights customer, here’s a search for patents Google has related to healthcare/med devices (including implants, AI in healthcare, and drones, among others).