The Danish company Cercare Medical has developed and patented algorithm-based artificial intelligence (AI), which helps doctors with quick analyses of brain scans.
It is said that a person who is afflicted with cerebral thrombosis ages four years each hour that passes before treatment is initiated. Therefore, Cercare Medical has invested considerable resources in developing a program that, based on artificial intelligence, can help doctors with quick analyses of brain scan images, and provide an indication of the most likely development in the affected brain.
In the case of cerebral thrombosis, doctors typically need to go through 1400 brain scan images before they can initiate treatment
“In the case of cerebral thrombosis, doctors typically need to go through 1400 brain scan images before they can initiate treatment. For an experienced doctor, this takes around 25 minutes but our program can do it much faster,” says Professor at Aarhus University, Kim Mouridsen, who is one of Cercare Medical’s two founders. He adds that saving time in acute situations, where a brain damage is constantly evolving, is not the only thing that matters. It often happens that the relevant experienced doctor is not there when the patient arrives to the hospital, for example at night-time. “In these situations, we believe that our program could make a crucial difference,” says Kim Mouridsen.
Cercare Medical’s breakthrough is likely to affect many people around the world, which makes it all the more relevant to talk about IPR. Cercare Medical has succeeded in patenting the program under the name Cercare Medical Neurosuite.
Kim Mouridsen says that patenting was a crucial premise in the development of the program. They placed the task in the hands of Plougmann Vingtoft. “Plougmann Vingtoft has extensive experience with the protection, commercialization and strategic use of IPR. So it was a completely natural choice,” he states.
The legal and technical expertise – and not least the experience that Plougmann Vingtoft has within IP rights – apply to complex concepts such as AI, says partner and patent advisor in the company, Peter Sørensen. “We work with everything from classic services such as the formulation of patent claims, filing of patent applications and trademark registrations to strategic advice on business development. We have assisted Cercare Medical with several patents in Europe and the United States.”
Laws are tangible
Peter Sørensen finds the area of AI particularly exciting – because the potential is enormous and the developments are fast-paced. “These technologies will most likely have a major impact on our everyday lives in the foreseeable future. Cercare Medical’s Neuro Suite is a great example. Further, we see how artificial intelligence is integrated into everything from chatbots to robotic vacuum cleaners, and the development continues,” he says.
These technologies will most likely have a major impact on our everyday lives in the foreseeable future
Although AI, with its ability to act on prior experience, is still a rather abstract concept, Peter Sørensen has no doubt that the current patent law can sufficiently accommodate the phenomenon.
Several aspects need consideration when patenting AI; partly, because the people who build and train these neutral networks do not always understand how they work in detail. However, legislation is not an issue. In fact, AI falls within the same legal framework as that of traditional software, which means that it can be protected by copyright or patents,” he says.