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CES Spotlight: Pillo Health
CES Showcase: Pillo Health – Making Medicine Smarter
Innovation saves lives. By revolutionizing the traditional approach to preventative care and the treatment of diseases, innovators discover transformative solutions that equip patients and professionals with better tools to maintain their health. As with many innovative fields, healthcare technology is dependent on strong intellectual property (IP) provisions. A common characteristic of countries with world-class healthcare systems is a vast IP landscape that accommodates researchers who are breaking ground in health management – our 2019 International IP Index Report details this trend.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, we met with Pillo Health, a burgeoning health maintenance company that seeks to change the way we preserve our well-being. Their signature product, the Pillo robot, is an in-home interactive health companion that uses artificial intelligence to provide support to family members, caregivers, and those coping with chronic illness in managing their conditions and maintaining their overall well-being. The device accurately dispenses medication uses facial recognition software to ensure that medications are distributed to the appropriate individual in a secure and punctual fashion.
“We have a patent on the design and multiple utility patents, primarily based on the robotic systems connected with the machine vision that makes sure we dispense the right medication using our unique design and to the right person at the right time,” Cofounder and CEO of Pillo Health Emanuele Musini told us at CES.
The idea came to Emanuele in 2005 after his father passed away because he had trouble adhering to his medication regimen. “I thought, what if there was a ‘someone’ there with him, right there? That’s what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Emanuele. Consumer interaction is one of the main components to Pillo. The device can answer health-related questions and connect the patient with healthcare professionals from the comfort of their own home by way of voice recognition and touchscreen technology. Through their patented technology, Pillo can store medication, dispense dosages on a prescribed schedule, and even automatically renew prescriptions. This increased level of simplicity gives patients more time in the day to focus on themselves, and takes some of the hassle out of healthcare.
At CES, Emanuele reflected on the importance of strong IP protections to Pillo Health: “[IP protections] are absolutely necessary, not just to protect your product but also because really it’s one of the top three things that an investor will ask you. So if you’re an entrepreneur, just always think of patenting your idea…The great thing about the U.S. is that you can spend very little and put a temporary patent [on your product], which is very cheap and quick to do.” Continuing, Musini stated, “[IP] is absolutely needed, and it helped me a lot.”
Undergirded by IP protections, companies like Pillo are improving the lives of countless patients by giving them and their loved ones peace of mind. Not to mention, they equip medical professionals with new tools to address some of the challenges facing those in need of round-the-clock care. IP makes this exciting era of innovation possible, and it’s critical to not only preserve, but amplify these frameworks to empower innovators to further invest in healthcare technology.
Securing and promoting IP laws can inspire the next wave of health care technology and continue to shift the way we view health maintenance. Pillo demonstrates the need for an amplified prioritization of IP protections as it applies to AI. It’s essential for all economies to collaborate and build communities that foster innovation and spur further investment in ground-breaking discoveries.