PRECURE: Smart wearables break bad habits

PRECURE introduces smart elbow sleeves that can help prevent work-related injuries and improve the general work environment. The Danish start-up has already registered their trademarks and applied for patents, which means they are well on their way to set sails and bring their ideas across the Atlantic.

You are sitting behind your desk with your eyes focused on a screen. Your coffee has turned cold while you were absorbed with your work. You have been scrolling two miles before you realise you are all curled up in a wrong seating position. Sounds familiar?

The human body is not fit for the kind of work life that many of us carry out every day, and if we don’t take the time to listen, we end up paying the price of work-related injuries. The Danish start-up, PRECURE, has taken the matter into their own hands and introduced smart wearables as a solution. More specifically, they introduced clothing with built-in sensor technology that monitors the user’s muscle activity, prevent injuries, and contribute to long-lasting behavioural change.

“A digital physical therapist”

Søren Würtz, who is now the chief innovation officer in PRECURE, got the initial idea while he was working as a physical therapist. As his patients were not aware of their bad habits in real time, they were unable to change them. Launching their IoT-based elbow sleeve in 2019, PRECURE introduced a solution that accommodates this particular challenge.

MLI® Elbow can monitor the user’s muscle activity and raise an alarm in case the user strains the muscles in a way that could be problematic. It is a bit like having a personal digital physical therapist by your side all day long.

MLI® Elbow not only helps the specific user. Employers can gain great insights of the workplace by looking into the data that an MLI® Elbow delivers. These insights can help firms improve their general work environment and make it healthier. This part of their business is called PRECURE Insight.

MLI® Elbow can help prevent tennis elbows and other repetitive strain injuries. It is the first product launched by PRECURE. However, there are several in the pipeline including wearables that can help solve back-, neck- and wrist problems.

We address an issue, which is and should be of main interest for employers around the globe,” says Finn Bech Andersen, CEO at PRECURE, which is exactly why PRECURE and their investors made Intellectual Property Rights a priority.

The IP system and its language

According to Finn Bech Andersen, IP was high on the agenda when PRECURE set up their initial business plan. He says with a smile, “we tried to author our own patent application. However, we quickly discovered that the IP world and its language was very far from our start-up habitat. Therefore, we decided to invest in professional help.”

For Finn Bech Andersen and the PRECURE team, it was important to find a trusted partner, who was able to see their products in a different light and able to provide strategic advice on market readiness. This was exactly what they found at Plougmann Vingtoft. Together with a team of IP consultants, they set up an IP strategy comprising both patents and trademarks.

Per Nygreen, Patent Attorney and expert within Technology and Software at Plougmann Vingtoft, has helped PRECURE in the application process to patent an application method for how the products use artificial intelligence to identify undesirable muscle activity in the user.

 “PRECURE has a skilled team of specialists, but they needed someone who was able to convert their product descriptions into patent language in order to make sure they got the best possible market position,” says Per Nygreen, who is waiting for the authorities’ green light to proceed with the patent applications and turn them into valid international patents. 

Aside from patent applications, PRECURE has registered four trademarks ensuring them the rights to the PRECURE name and logo. European Trademark and Design Attorney, Henriette Rasch, from Plougmann Vingtoft, helped the start-up firm make the right choices for their trademark strategy. “PRECURE’s solutions have global prospects, which is exactly why they need to protect their business against copycats,” she says and underlines that it is part of the cooperation with the start-up that she stays in touch and helps ensure that PRECURE’s IP strategy matches the rest of the business.

A valuable cooperation

For PRECURE, it made sense to invest in professional IP-consulting. CEO at PRECURE, Finn Bech Andersen, explains:

“Our cooperation with Plougmann Vingtoft is valuable to our business because their ÍP consultants are equally helpful and productive. They understand our products, they are able to ask critical questions, and they are confident in sharing their opinion on how we best can spend our time and money – even when this is not on IP related services.”

Meet all Plougmann Vingtoft’s experts here and learn more out about their areas of expertise. If you need IP consulting or a second-opinion on your own IP strategy, you can contact the consultants directly or send a general request to pv@pv.eu.