Law and Innovation : the smart fabrics market

When most people think of wearables, they often think of the obligatory smartwatches, fitness monitors, and heart rate monitors but the wearables market extends well beyond these standard devices and push forward into multiple emerging markets across some different industries.
One such emerging market is smart clothing – the idea of weaving electronics into a shirt, a blanket, a bandage, a knitted cap, or pants to perform specific patient care functions. E-textiles, as a whole, is still in its infancy, and practical applications that are being used in hospitals and other care facilities are few and far between.
In today’s world, technology plays an important role in every industry as well as in our personal lives.


Out of all of the industries that technology plays a crucial role in, healthcare and medical-care are definitely one of the most important.
This merger is responsible for improving lives all around the world.
Innovation is a precious value, healthcare/medical care Fashion Tech companies in every state need to pay attention: if your building a business on this market privacy and security of your information must be one of your highest priorities. Evolving as a fashion startup in the world of health is complex, the healthcare industry is among the most highly regulated in the world.

That’s why last week, the startup PYRATES smart fabrics, one of the Look Forward’s alumni was attending the Fashion Law and Innovation Conference organized by the Federal Bar Association at the Sorbonne Paris.



Regina Polanco, Olivera Medenica, Michael E. Schu and Céline Bondard

The FBA brought a deep understanding and conversation on the health and medical laws and on the increasingly complex technical issues of health care providers, as well as to burgeoning healthcare software and information technology industry.
Regina Polanco, the founder of PYRATES, spoke about wearable tech and how important it is to protect your business. She discussed next to others experts such as Olivera Medenica (Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP), Céline Bondard (President of the French American Bar Association), Frederic Galinier (Legal Director of IFM) or Bénédicte Roumy (Legal Director of Chanel), etc.
What we learned is that as technology in the world of healthcare continues to evolve, rules and regulations concerning its use must be established and adjusted to adapt to the new methods of administering care.

Regulations like HIPAA and its Privacy and Security Act target the concerns about the confidentiality of patient information and the steps that must be taken to maintain privacy in our digital world. Medical providers and healthcare administration must be careful when choosing to implement new products and technologies into their services and should ensure that all technologies are “HIPAA compliant” before investing in their implementation.
Plus Regina, who built PYRATES an innovative startup who develop smart fabrics for brand and designer, but who also have their own collection, insist on all the legal step you must take care to protect your business.
“As an innovative supplier, patenting formulas is a very difficult path since just a variation of percentage on the composition can unprotect your formula,” said Regina. Taking this into consideration, PYRATES has found different ways to protect their textiles such as keeping their composition and process of fabrication secret, protect their production chain, establish partnership agreements with the factories, and to really support in all phases (production & commercialization) the brand and designers they work with. Regina also believes that the best way to protect yourself is to grow fast and to become a pioneer in textile innovation, just like they did.
But how to receive interest from brands and designers and at the same time build and protect your business?

Well PYRATS truly think that the only way is to get into the big wave is by being accelerated from a startup to a real company thanks to incubation programs such as Fashion Fusion by Deutch Telekom, Look Forward or accelerator such as Tenkanten by ASICS.

Find out more about PYRATES here:


Look Forward Vision

Smart clothing for health care will grow from just $2.4 million today to a whopping $1.2 billion by 2021, with the majority of growth coming in the years 2019-2021. Healthcare markets such as Europe and the US, e-textile developments are on the rise to make use of emerging electronics and medical technology. This market is interesting but really complex at the same time. Young smart fabrics for healthcare entrepreneurs need to learn how to think smart if they want to evolve and follow with carefulness the diverse steps to protect their business and to be legally marketable.

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