The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said patent applications that recite artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms more than doubled between 2002 and 2018, starting from a baseline of 30,000 to more than 60,000 in the out year. These conclusions are based on a study of patent applications dating to 1976, a year in which AI appeared in 9% of applications, a metric that grew to 42% in 2018. The two categories of technologies that recorded the greatest increase were patents for planning and control, and for knowledge processing. In 1976, only 1% of the AI-reciting patents were from individuals, while 25% of these applications were from individuals in 2018. As might be expected, the early years demonstrated a marked clustering in cities and technology hubs, but more recent years’ data suggest a diffusion into other U.S. geographic areas, such as the Midwest, which experienced “notable growth” in the past two decades, the agency said.

NICE reviews Dexcom’s G6

The U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said the evidence from six studies of the G6 continuous glucose monitoring system by San Diego-based Dexcom Inc., suggests that the device reduces the time spent in hypoglycemia compared to self-monitoring with finger prick testing. However, there is variable access across clinical commissioning groups in the U.K., with roughly 10,000 patients receiving the G6 from their commissioning groups and another 5,000 paying for the devices themselves. An economic analysis noted that the cost of the system is between £1,850 and £2,645 per user per year, although the lifetime cost of the G6 was pegged at more than £14,000 higher than standard testing. That cost difference may be offset if the use of the G6 avoids costs associated with poorly managed diabetes.

Ortho claims FDA notification for antigen test with 100% sensitivity

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Inc., of Raritan, N.J., reported Nov. 5 that the U.S. FDA has accepted an emergency use notification for the company’s Vitros antigen test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a test the company said offers accurate mass-scale testing with a sensitivity of up to 100%. Ortho said it had submitted the filing Oct. 23, describing the antigen test as a viable alternative to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for those known or suspected to have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or anyone exhibiting symptoms suggestive of viral infection. The company noted that samples with a PCR cycle threshold (CT) of 30-33 carry little or no live virus, perhaps an indication that these patients are no longer a threat to pass the virus. The Vitros is credited with 100% sensitivity for samples with a CT count of less than 34. Ortho said this test is also the first test based on swab samples rather than blood and body fluids that can be run on the company's high-throughput Vitros platform. The swabs can be stored for up to 24 hours, or 48 hours under refrigeration, and the Vitros platform can process as many as 130 antigen samples per hour. The company manufactures this antigen test at its site in Rochester, N.Y., and will boost production in Pencoed, U.K., at an unspecified point in the near term. Ortho said the test will “be available worldwide in large volumes beginning in early November 2020.”