Bringing healthcare to more Australians: VisionFlex

Here's how an Australian owned company revolutionised telehealth services and successfully commercialised its intellectual property (IP) in the process.

Visionflex provide high-quality health technology and telehealth services to remote and isolated locations. They've used a combination of IP rights to effectively protect their business.

Hear about VisionFlex and their journey to commercialisation and IP protection.

About six or seven years ago we found that there was a need for an improved telehealth
service and device here in Australia and globally, and we created a company from scratch called VisionFlex.

VisionFlex has two key products. One is a universal telehealth hub, which we've designed called the ProEX and that is an all-in-one device that allows a very high standard of care for a patient for remote assistance. The second product is a universal handheld camera called
the Geis. So understanding intellectual property and using it internationally allows for protection a, for the company and it's money spent, also for the design of the product and
for the technology used within the product. The whole idea of protecting what you've
invented or created is extremely important because that forms a part of the value of the
company. So having the design in-house, having the build in-house, it's been very important.
It's allowed us to secure the IP. In this particular case in the design of a telehealth device, the usability is so critical.

In the process of initial design, we basically sit around a large table with a big sheet of paper and a pencil, old school. And we have some fabulous people in this team and we come together, we work it out and we listen to everybody. So with both products, the best way to
protect these devices in this early stage, was to have a design certification. And that design registration allowed you to describe the product and then visuals there to substantiate
what is written.

With the design registration process, right from the start we were told, you know, the idea here is to is to get protection in as early as possible. Get the initial process started. Get the drawings in early. Get the description in early. Ensure that the outline of the product was very clear. But by having those drawings in place, and having the design certification, that
afforded straightaway, affords us some sort of certainty that somebody can't just copy
that and market it.

Even the names, the trademarks, can can also be protected. Well, that was key because it was not only VisionFlex, but it was then ProEX for trademark, which is the telehealth hub, Geis for the universal camera, number of different new products coming along the way. Because once you actually have any exposure in the marketplace, any advertising, marketing or papers or otherwise in the market, you can't go back.

We have a current patent pending and the second one just about to start work on right now. And this is a little bit more challenging because you've got to have something that's pretty unique. If you talk about a product in general, it's very hard to to get a patent on a general product. In our particular case we ended up, and with this patent pending, on an interconnection part of our device which is a little bit innovative and a little bit clever. The choice to actually build here in Australia on the northern beaches has been very clear. We've got access to all, some of some of the best industrial designers and IP lawyers and there's a very good climate for innovation. You don't have to go through the red tape. You can just pick up the phone, talk to IP Australia, and you can talk to the the regulatory people very, very quickly and simply and get an answer.

The whole idea of protecting what you've invented or created is extremely important because that forms a part of the the value of the company, which it also gives you some credibility
in the marketplace.

Please note: case studies are examples of the way individual organisations have chosen to manage their IP. These studies don't provide advice and your experience may be different.