Implantable ventilator device marks first licensing deal for Cleveland Clinic’s Innovation Alliance

copd lungsA new licensing agreement with Maryland tech company InnoVital Systems marks an important milestone for the Cleveland Clinic’s commercialization arm as the first such deal to come out of its seven-member Healthcare Innovation Alliance.

InnoVital Systems, which develops sensors, robotics and electronics for the defense industry, licensed patent rights from Cleveland Clinic Innovations and Maryland health system MedStar Health for a device that would help patients with severe lung and neuromuscular diseases breathe.

Dr. William Krimsky, director of the Center for Interventional Pulmonology at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, is credited with inventing the implantable ventilator device. After taking the idea to MedStar’s Inventor Services, he was introduced to engineers at InnoVital. They realized they could use the company’s artificial muscle technology to create a device that would mechanically assist the diaphragm with drawing air into the lungs, according to an announcement from MedStar and Cleveland Clinic.

The vision is that patients with Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy, interstitial lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease would be able to use the device instead of being placed on a ventilator.


This deal is the kind that Cleveland Clinic Innovations had in mind when it established the Innovation Alliance back in 2011, with MedStar as its first partner.

The alliance now has seven members leveraging the Clinic’s tech transfer know-how to turn their employees’ medical inventions into commercially viable products that would serve unmet needs in the market and bring in revenue.