In this inventor interview Kevin Marinan talks about his invention PermaChase
Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL.
Kevin: Kevin Marinan. PermaChase. www.perma-chase.com.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, and your background experience on how you first started inventing?
Kevin: We are based out of Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States. PermaChase is my first invention. I have more than 20 years of experience as a general contractor, primarily building medical facilities that offer dialysis.
Tara: Could you please tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
Kevin: PermaChase is a valve box that dialysis machines plug into. It’s also known as a water box. Medical personnel at the dialysis centers fill the valve boxes with the fluids needed for the dialysis procedure. We also developed the wall panels that go with the boxes that provide the space each patient needs during treatment.
The idea literally came to me in the night. I just realized, after working for so many years in the field, that things needed to be done differently. The valve boxes that are used now are difficult to access, can experience leaks, and are at times susceptible to mold. I’ve seen the disruption that machine failure or maintenance can mean for a patient who is in need of this life-sustaining treatment.
PermaChase eliminates those problems.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having you idea?
Kevin: I first met with an architect friend of mine, Matt Lamont, who helped me sketch out this idea that was in my head. Then, I met with an engineer friend of mine, Jack Dillon, who helped bring the sketches to life. I’m fortunate to know quite a few people in the industry, given my line of work in constructing dialysis centers.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention? How did you go about this?
Kevin: We made a prototype. We worked with Dillon, who runs Medical Solutions International. He helped us get our prototype together at a facility in Kansas. Dillon has connections with a molding company, and together we just worked through it based off of our drawings.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Kevin: Yes. Our product is currently patent-pending. It didn’t seem that difficult of a process, but it is a long wait for the actual patent to come through. I spoke with another one of my friends who has had success bringing one of his inventions to market and he referred me to a patent attorney. The attorney did a search to see if there was anything like PermaChase out there, and we were thrilled to learn there was not.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
Kevin: We have always intended to manufacture the product ourselves. At this point, PermaChase manufactures the plastic for the valve box. Then, Medical Solutions International installs the actual valving in the box. Marathon Resources, Inc., my construction company, installs the equipment in the dialysis centers.
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self-fund this?
Kevin: Working with Dillon at Medical Solutions International seemed like a natural fit. Medical Solutions is the company that manufactured the valve boxes that are most commonly used now on the market.
We did use our own money to fund this project. We estimate that we’ve invested about $75,000 into this project so far.
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
Kevin: My connections formed over years of networking in the industry has helped quite a bit. But, we have also commissioned an advertising agency to help us with public relations, and it has really helped.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
Kevin: It takes time to change the way things have been done for a long time. In the dialysis industry, many processes have occurred the same way for years, and many products have been used for years. Our product brings a revolutionary idea to the market. Our biggest challenge is changing minds.
Also, dialysis equipment is pretty permanent. So, we are marketing to new clinics and to clinics that are being renovated. It’s really difficult to switch out wall boxes used in dialysis.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Kevin: Since the night I decided to do something with my idea, until now, it’s been about 19 months. PermaChase is already in use at one local clinic and we are in talks with clinics on the East Coast of the U.S.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Kevin: I wouldn’t say there is anything in particular that I learned through the process. It takes a natural trial-and-error effort. You tinker with things along the way to make them just right. And, that’s good. It only makes the product better. We feel strongly that PermaChase is a superior product and will only help the dialysis industry as a whole.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Kevin: My best advice is to seek protection. Just make sure to protect your idea as soon as possible. It’s such a valuable step.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
Kevin: People can find out more about PermaChase at www.perma-chase.com or by calling 480-657-9808.
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