Vitabits – an Example of the Transfer of University Knowledge to the Commercial Sector
Vitabits, a remote monitoring and telemedicine system, exemplifies collaboration and transfer of knowledge to the commercial sector. Intellectual property rights were transferred to Ipmit d.o.o. for further development and marketing, while Vitasis, a spin-out company founded by the University of Ljubljana, continues to develop the solution.
Telemedicine – the provision of remote health care – is experiencing significant growth globally. Responding to this trend, the Laboratory for Data Technologies (LPT) at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Computer and Information Science developed a solution with the working name Vitabits.
In 2018, the potential of Vitabits was recognised by Ipmit d.o.o., which went on to purchase the intellectual property rights related to the product. Ipmit is upgrading the solution in cooperation with the faculty, that is, the spin-out company Vitasis, as part of the SOSTOP project, co-financed by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology with the aim of developing a comprehensive system for remote monitoring and telemedicine treatment of patients.
Remote monitoring of patients with chronic diseases can substantially reduce treatment costs, since a virtual doctor’s consultation can be up to three times cheaper than a physical one. The telemedicine market is projected to grow to EUR 33 billion by 2022, with a potential customer base that includes health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, health resorts, healthcare IT solution providers, as well as telecommunication operators.
The transfer of knowledge to the commercial sector entails activities requiring knowledge, effort and time that researchers often prefer to devote to research work. However, it should be stressed that successful transfer can bring great benefits. It raises the profile of individual researchers, as well as the University, and creates new research and business opportunities. Is also increases opportunities to acquire even better projects, leads to academic publications in reputable journals, creates a positive impact on society, and, last but not least, provides funds.