Source of information: GACETA MÉDICA .COM
During the years of the economic boom, many public funds were allocated to research in the health sector with the sole requirement that it would generate knowledge and that said knowledge would appear in relatively prestigious publications, ensuring doctors and researchers that they would remain eligible for funding. In general, this knowledge resembled a “gift” to the scientific and medical community, with the goal of “continuing to move forward”. In other words, scientific publications were the tool used to make funding come full circle and to continue to take on projects and receive public funds. Yet despite this, hospitals and their corresponding research centres experienced many difficulties in transforming the innovations they generated into products and services that directly affected patients.
The economic crisis has brought about the need to reconsider this funding model due to two major reasons: the cut in public funds, which has caused publications in prestigious magazines to no longer come full circle and ensure the continuity of funding; and the growing need to increase the positive impact of research carried out in hospitals and in their research centres on society.
Clearly there is no single solution that solves all of the above, yet over the past few years there appears to be an effective solution that consists of bringing the world of business closer to hospitals and their research centres. As a result, businesses benefit from the innovations generated directly by hospitals, and hospitals, in turn, thrive from funding in this context. These hospitals can then follow different lines of research, generate new ones and ensure that the results of their research and innovation lead to new and improved products and services for patients.
This is where patents play and should play a key role, since they are one of the instruments that allow the new paradigm to work. Patents are a crucial connecting link between hospitals and businesses for several reasons. For businesses, they are a type of guarantee ensuring that a return on their investment can be obtained through the monopoly granted. In addition, if the patent has already been examined by one of the “strong” offices (European, United States or Japan Patent Office), it has certain guarantees with respect to the innovative aspect of the invention. On the other hand, from the point of view of hospitals, patents represent the embodiment of innovations generated in hospitals, thus supporting their value and the transfer of knowledge.
Therefore, patents, in my opinion, are a key tool to once again help research funding in hospitals and in their research centres come full circle. And as a result, if patent knowledge and development is properly encouraged, giving them an important role in health research, they can be called upon to play a very important role both in changing the paradigm in the hospital sector as well as in transforming the economy into a knowledge economy.