Technologies for the new normal
Devices, materials and equipment
In the era of the new normal, many everyday items have been adapted and/or optimised to help prevent infection. Some of these items are integral to our daily lives (e.g. telephone equipment, computer terminals, clothing) whereas others are more specialized (e.g. respirators) and by adapting them in ways that reduce the spread of the virus they can be useful tools to save lives in the current pandemic.
The materials from which buildings or rooms are made can combat viruses and bacteria.
This search concept covers sanitary doorknobs and handles which prevent spreading of infections.
The design of an aircraft's interior, as well as onboard ventilation and hygiene, can all help to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Remote-controlled aircraft, quadcopters and drones, can be useful in a variety of ways, e.g. to spray disinfectant or pesticides to suppress the spread of disease.
The design and construction of the interiors of other vehicles can be just as important to reduce the spread of disease between passengers.
Our telephones are another potential source of infection - any contamination on them will quickly be on our hands and/or faces.
The design and construction of isolation rooms in hospitals or isolation boxes in laboratories can be especially important for handling infectious materials.
Respirators have proven to be essential for the seriously sick, and this technical field has seen a surge in innovation in recent months.
Components for face masks and respirators produced by additive manufacturing (i.e. by 3D-printing)
- Face masks: Concept that is based on the combination of the patent classes relevant for face masks and additive manufacturing
- Face masks: Concept that is based on the combination of the patent classes relevant for face masks and that identifies documents which mention various additive manufacturing technologies in the text of the document
- Respiratory masks: Concept that is based on the combination of the patent classes relevant for respiratory masks and additive manufacturing
- Respiratory masks: Concept that is based on the combination of the patent classes relevant for respiratory masks and that identifies documents which mention various additive manufacturing technologies in the text of the document
- Valves for respiratory devices
Clinical personnel need a variety of gowns, masks and gloves to stay safe when treating infected patients. There are many inventions related to personal protective equipment ("PPE")
- Medical clothing for surgeons and patients; overalls
- Outerwear materials in general
- Face masks of any shape with viral properties
- Rubber gloves of any shape with anti-viral properties
- Masks for virus
- Helmet for virus
- Masks with air curtain
- Masks with filter elements for virus
- Face masks with disinfected air input
This section concerns a variety of furniture for the workplace, in business premises and in the home.
Material science has given us a wide variety of compositions and coatings, textiles and fibres that can have anti-viral, disinfecting or repellent properties.
- Polymeric compositions providing an inactivating or repelling effect against coronaviruses including SARS and MERS
- Polymeric composition providing an inactivating or repelling effect against viruses
- Coating composition providing an inactivating or repelling effect against coronaviruses including SARS and MERS to the surface on which they are applied
- Coating composition providing an inactivating or repelling effect against viruses in general to the surface on which they are applied
- Treated textile materials with compositions or compounds having an activity against coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS (i.e. by killing, avoiding development or protecting from coronaviruses)
- Fibres comprising an agent having activity against coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS (i.e. by killing, avoiding development or protecting from coronaviruses)
The following concepts provide an overview of different types of manipulators or robots suitable for executing tasks in contact with pathogenic agents and especially with SARS-CoV-2. This includes the treatment of infected patient by robot nurses or doctors and the manipulation of infected samples for analysis or research purposes.
- Any kind of manipulator specifically used in relation with SARS-CoV2
- Robot nurses or doctors adapted to treat infected patients
- Manipulators provided with special protection means when working in contact with pathogenic agents
- Manipulation means in contact with a virus and placed in a chamber (e.g. a glove box) to prevent diffusion of the virus
- Robotic systems for performing a throat or nasal swab sampling
Patent analytics gives a deeper dive into the patent landscape. Our patent analysts have created a spreadsheet containing all the search strategies, datasets for devices, materials and equipment patents and additional statistics in one place for you to download. You can also run the search strategies on your own platform or analyse the datasets yourself. If you are not familiar with how to write or adapt search strategies, our Espacenet pocket guide will help.
Procedures, actions and activities
Our environment has adapted to minimise the spread of coronavirus. Innovations in the field of sterilisers and disinfectants have been and will be coupled with other innovations for how to apply these sanitary materials to our homes, workplaces, transport means and leisure facilities. Ensuring and maintaining clean air supplies also plays a vital role in securing a safe environment for our daily routines.
Clean room technologies concern methods and equipment to contain e.g. fumes or vapours and safely process them, e.g. through extractor hoods, as well as devices for preventing fouling (e.g. preventing the build-up of matter).
The air that we breathe is as essential to viral spread as it is to us. Providing and maintaining clean air plays a key role in the fight against coronavirus.
- Air treatment in general, related to coronavirus
- Cleaning / purification of air
- Ventilation to avoid recirculation of contaminated air
- Air treatment control to avoid virus infection other than ventilation
- Air treatment with detection of features concerning the virus / occupant in the space
- Screening to prevent intrusion of the virus
There are many different types of plastics, and some can be made in such a way as to have antiviral/antibacterial properties and/or to have coatings that act as a barrier against viruses, bacteria and other pathogenic organisms.
- Casting and injection-moulding methods to produce plastic articles having antiviral/antibacterial properties and/or forming a barrier against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens
- Plastic coating methods for articles having an anti-pathogen barrier and/or a layer with antiviral/antibacterial properties
- Plastic-containing articles such as securities for medical use, special materials of securities, materials of printed sheets and control cards
- Methods of making products having layers with imprinted surfaces that exhibit antiviral properties, for example those having lotus effect (self-cleaning).
Disinfectants are often more effective when delivered as sprays, so that the aerosol droplets reach further and wider. Sprayers for disinfectants come in many sizes for different roles.
- Spraying of disinfectants, by smaller hand-held unitary sprayers
- Spraying of disinfectants, by sprayers with separate containers or supply line, mounted on vehicles, drones or hand-held spray guns
- Sterilising objects involving spraying
- Sterilising air involving spraying
- Delivery of medicament to respiratory tract by spraying
Depending on what needs to be cleaned, the processes for disinfecting will need to the tailored accordingly - from cleaning hands, to lavatories to vehicles.
- UV disinfection using a photocatalyst
- Disinfection with ozone
- Thermal treatment
- Ultrasound treatment
- Disinfection of air using sprayed liquid and UV
- Disinfection of aircrafts using UV
- Cleaning aircraft
- Disinfection of lavatories using sprayed liquids
- Disinfection of hands using sprayed liquid
- Disinfection of masks
- Disinfection of elevators
- Disinfection of handrails
- Disinfection of shoes
- Disinfection of handles
- Disinfection of shopping carts
- Disinfection of garments
Protecting medical practitioners is as important as protecting the patients they are treating - protection must work both ways. Doctors, surgeons and nurses use especially thorough cleaning practices.
Negative pressure ventilators (so-called "iron-lung", cuirass or tank ventilators) are usually non-invasive, so patients would not need to have their lungs intubated. The patients can remain conscious, take medication and nutrition by mouth and talk freely. Some versions can be used on a normal ward, keeping patients out of intensive care.
- Mechanical ventilation without intubation
- Mechanical ventilation without intubation (an alternative selection from a broader range)
- Mechanical ventilation using the same pump for pressure and vacuum, not being driven at the respiratory rate
- Mechanical ventilation driven at the respiratory rate
- Mechanical ventilation using feedback from the sensors connected to the patient
Cleaning or washing in a domestic environment is generally carried out using appliances such as vacuum cleaners, dishwashers and scrubbers or implements such as mops, dusters, cloths, pads and sponges. The following concept provides an overview of different types of washing and cleaning to avoid the spread of the virus.
Patent analytics gives a deeper dive into the patent landscape. Our patent analysts have created a spreadsheet containing all the search strategies, datasets for procedures, actions and activities patents and additional statistics in one place for you to download. You can also run the search strategies on your own platform or analyse the datasets yourself. If you are not familiar with how to write or adapt search strategies, our Espacenet pocket guide will help.
Prevention is better than cure, and technology is an important means to support the population in prevention. Digital technologies will play an increasingly important role too. Contact tracing, for example, has become a standard pandemic counter-measure in many countries. Artificial intelligence can be harnessed to provide both an understanding of how the virus spreads as well as ways to contain it. Many aspects of the new normal will rely on digital technologies to keep us safe.
Modern tickets machines, vending machines, cash dispensers and the like all present a risk of infection because they are touched by many strangers. Providing a contactless user interface is another way to reduce infection.
Healthcare informatics specifically adapted for the handling or processing of medical or healthcare data (CPC, IPC subclass G16H) is covered in Healthcare informatics.
We are carriers of the virus and our behaviours are key to containing viral spread. Monitoring technologies will thus play an increasingly important role in shaping the new normal.
Telecommunications is playing a vital role - every smartphone can be a tool to prevent the spread of disease.
Artificial intelligence can be harnessed to help combat viral spread by understanding the mechanisms of disease, determining and supporting pharmaceutical treatments.
- Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to help understand how the virus spreads
- Artificial Intelligence for patient simulation
- Artificial Intelligence for disease simulation
- Artificial Intelligence for infection modelling
- Artificial Intelligence for drug screening
- Artificial Intelligence for analysis of (viral) pulmonary infections
- Deep Neural Networks for analysis of lung infections
- Artificial Intelligence for genetic sequencing of coronavirus
- Artificial Intelligence for epidemic evolution and tracking
- Artificial Intelligence and the use of molecular/biomolecular/DNA computers for PCR/antigen tests
To combat the virus, one must detect it. Virus detection, imaging and analysis are the first steps towards treatment.
Patent analytics gives a deeper dive into the patent landscape. Our patent analysts have created a spreadsheet containing all the search strategies, datasets for digital technologies patents and additional statistics in one place for you to download. You can also run the search strategies on your own platform or analyse the datasets yourself. If you are not familiar with how to write or adapt search strategies, our Espacenet pocket guide will help.