Nestle has been granted a patent for a device that can screen swallowing safety and efficiency. The device uses accelerometry data to determine throat vibrations and perform various methods to identify signal quality issues. If the data is of good quality, the device compares it against preset criteria to classify swallowing events. The device also includes a user interface that provides audio or graphics outputs based on the identified results. GlobalData’s report on Nestle gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Nestle, nanoemulsion cosmetics was a key innovation area identified from patents. Nestle's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Swallowing safety and efficiency screening device using accelerometry data

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Nestle SA

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11766210B2) describes a device for screening swallowing safety and efficiency. The device includes a processor and an accelerometer that provides accelerometry data of throat vibrations. The processor analyzes the accelerometry data to determine vibration signals along the anterior-posterior and superior-inferior axes of the throat. The processor then performs various methods to assess swallowing safety and efficiency.

One method involves determining the signal variance of the accelerometry data over a specific frequency range of the spectrogram and comparing it to a threshold value. Another method involves determining a normalized variance signal from the spectrogram and comparing values of the beginning or end portion of the signal to threshold values. Additionally, the processor calculates the summed power spectral density of the vibration signals and applies spectral entropy for comparison to a threshold value.

The processor performs these methods in real-time relative to the receipt of the accelerometry data. The device also includes a user interface that provides audio or graphics outputs. These outputs indicate a missing swallow based on the results of the analysis. Furthermore, the outputs can indicate if the accelerometry data was clipped from the start or end based on the analysis results.

The device can classify swallowing events based on preset classification criteria for swallowing safety and efficiency. The processor compares the accelerometry data against these criteria and assigns a safety and efficiency classification to each swallowing event. The user interface displays icons with different colors to represent the safety and efficiency classifications. If any of the threshold values are exceeded, a different color is displayed on the icons.

The patent also describes a method for screening swallowing safety and efficiency using the device. The method involves receiving accelerometry data, performing the analysis methods, and producing audio or graphics outputs that indicate a missing swallow or the presence of noise in the accelerometry data.

Overall, this patented device and method provide a means for real-time screening of swallowing safety and efficiency using accelerometry data and analysis techniques. The device's user interface allows for easy interpretation of the results, aiding in the assessment of swallowing function.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.