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Discovery of diagnostic tools for infectious diseases slows down

The pace of discovering new technologies that enable rapid diagnoses of infectious diseases has slowed down, according to a report commissioned by the innovation charity Nesta.

The study found that the annual number of patent filings in relation to point-of-care diagnostics of infectious diseases—such as biosensors that detect pathogens—has been slowly declining since 2013. Point-of-care testing allows healthcare practitioners to rapidly diagnose patients; the results of care are timely and allow fast patient treatment. The study was produced by the intellectual property firms CPA Global and Marks & Clerk, and was published on 15 October.

Global patent filings for infectious disease point-of-care diagnostics reached 118 in 2013, a 10-year high, following a drop in 2010 and 2011 that the authors say could be a consequence of the 2008 financial crisis. However, by 2015, patent filings for these devices had dropped to 94, they said.

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