Doctors make key contributions in developing medical devices

April 20, 2013 at 6:31 PM

PHILADELPHIA, April 20 (UPI) -- Doctors develop medical devices and as physician entrepreneurs they are an important source of patents and start-up companies, U.S. researchers say.

Sheryl Winston Smith and Andrew Sfekas, both of the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, analyzed a total 170 premarket approval applications filed by four major medical device companies from 1978 to 2007.

The study also included data on patent applications from 119 start up companies -- all of which had received investment dollars from the medical device industry. All four device makers had active corporate venture capital programs during the study period.

The two groups of start-ups produced roughly the same number of patents, but patents from physician-founded start-up companies were cited more heavily in the premarket approval applications, compared to those from non-physician start-ups.

"On average physician-founded companies account for 11 percent of the information in premarket approval applications, compared with 4 percent from non-physician-founded companies," Smith and Sfekas said in a statement.

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