MMR also has additional patents pending with more than180 additional claims. These additional claims have the potential of expanding the scope of the Company's intellectual property pertaining to the provisioning of Personal Health Records. The Company's patent portfolio also includes numerous other issued patents and pending applications in the U.S. and countries of commercial interest including Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and European nations.
CivSource, citing a Deltek report, says that demand has pushed the health IT industry into overdrive based on the federal government spending $4.5 billion on health IT in 2011 and $6.5 billion this year. States and municipalities with large health systems are on pace to spend millions themselves adding to their own health IT capabilities.
According to CivSource editor and publisher Bailey McCann, "MMRGlobal, another US based health care company recently announced the expansion of its patented suite of electronic health care tools. The announcement is notable as patent wars have been an ongoing issue in the broader IT community for several years, with some developers arguing that the rush to patent actually limits technological innovation and can increase costs, while others see patents as a means of ensuring profitability. An interesting and telling phrase was included in the MMR announcement, 'the MMR patent portfolio is believed to be relevant to virtually any provider who transmits electronic health records in that it will limit their ability to communicate protected health information without potentially infringing on MMR's patents.' In essence, anyone operating in this space may be obligated to establish a vendor relationship with MMR lest they draw the wrath of its patent enforcers."
"Indeed, MMR President and CEO Robert H. Lorsch, is open about his plan on this score, 'we have invested heavily in the development of our patent portfolio and are now positioned to reap the benefits of such investment by compelling doctors, pharmacies, insurance providers, electronic medical record providers and other healthcare professionals to choose negotiating a license with us for the use of our intellectual property or face potential infringement actions. With Meaningful Use requirements for patient engagement taking effect in 2014, which stipulate that patients have online access to their medical records within a certain period of time following the receipt of healthcare services, we believe the MMR portfolio is extremely relevant.'"
It is becoming clear that intellectual property could represent significant value to companies in the health information technology space. Allscripts, a leading U.S.-based healthcare firm, announced an open app challenge, offering cash prizes for crowdsourcing improvements in their EHR program as part of an effort to bypass patents and other intellectual property rights. Incubators like Health Tech Hatch have emerged as online resources dedicated to help launch and fund early stage innovations in healthcare. Commented Lorsch, "What we are seeing is a rebirth of incubators like Idealab incubating in healthcare, the one industry we all use at one time or another.
CivSource provides coverage of news from around the country on state and local politics, management and business. The article referenced here by Bailey McCann was published on October 9, 2012 and is available at startup-battles-patents-v-open-source%2f">http://civsourceonline.com/2012/10/09/health-it-revives-old-startup-battles-patents-v-open-source/.
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