Skip to navigation Skip to Content

Five things to know about innovation

​​​​​​Have you ever had an idea that will improve patient care but had no idea how to implement it? These tips will help move your idea from your mind to the market and start changing the world of health care.

1. Reframe the Question

If innovators were cartoon characters, the ratio of floating question marks to light bulbs over their heads would be 1,000 to 1. These question marks don't represent the same question over and over, though.

Instead of repetitively asking "What is the solution?", innovators constantly reframe questions, with iterations like:

  • "What is the problem?"
  • "What resources do I need to solve the problem?"
  • "What are the right steps to getting there?"
  • "How will the customer use this?"

The more questions asked in the beginning, the more problems the invention will solve.

2. Collaborate

Inventions with few collaborators usually result in limited potential.

As much as you want to keep your idea between you, your lab notebook, and perhaps the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), collaboration provides the extra polish needed to attract additional resources and potentially investors down the road.

Ask us and we can connect you with as many resources and skillsets you'll need.

3. First to File

When in doubt, we want to protect! With the United States PTO changing from First to Invent (where an inventor could rely on lab notes to prove he was first to invent) to First to File ("You Snooze, You Lose"), it is more important than ever to get your Invention Disclosure Form in the Applied Sciences.

You can do this even if you are still working out the details of your invention. If applicable, we create a provisional patent, which will essentially buy one year to form a full application, and takes about a third of the effort. In other words, we help you build your moat first, then your fortress.

4. Embrace Industry Relationships

Innovation cannot exist without industry collaboration. Industries need practicing physicians to advise them, and physicians need industry to provide them with better resources.

Conflict of Interest is therefore completely natural. What can be problematic, however, is the failure to disclose these collaborations to all involved, including patients or regulators.

Be proud of your relationships and be upfront about them. This will keep the commercialization process running smoothly and will help get your product to the market faster.

5. We're Here to Help

With experts in intellectual property, new ventures, licensing and business development, there is always someone at Innovations that can help you with your invention.

We strive to create a entrepreneurial environment where those question marks can turn into light bulbs and later into patents and possibly even spin-off companies. 

 Applied Sciences

​​​​Marsha Barwick​​ Bushman

Bushman.Marsha@MarshfieldClinic.org 
800-782-8581, ext. 93430​​​​

​​