According to GlobalData’s Patents Analytics database, artificial intelligence (AI) was the top-ranking theme in patent applications last year, with 4,208 patent applications and 1,444 grants recorded for the theme.

The use of AI technology in medical devices has been growing steadily in recent years. The goal of integrating AI into medical device systems is to enable faster and more accurate processes, freeing up healthcare providers’ time. Some examples of AI use cases in medical devices include robotic surgery, enhanced medical imaging, diagnostics assistance and patient flow optimisation.

A GlobalData report from last year estimated that the global AI platform market would be worth $52bn in 2024, up from $28bn in 2019. This fast growth in the market is reflected in the exponentially growing number of patent filings related to AI. Between 2016 and 2019, the number of patents related to AI in the US and EU tripled, and 62% more patent applications were registered in 2019 compared to 2018.

Philips was the company with the highest overall number of AI patent applications last year, with Siemens following in second place. The sector that most AI patent applications were made in was Healthcare IT.