The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, as well as a growing importance in technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalisation. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial Intelligence in Medical Devices: AI-assisted radiology. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 550,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the medical devices industry, there are 150+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

AI-assisted radiology is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted radiology has the potential to enhance the utility of traditional radiology from manually diagnosing changes in organ features as an indication of a disease to a true diagnostic tool that relates features to specific diseases in an automated and accurate process. This will greatly help the radiologist and other clinicians in interpreting images and provide more accurate and timely diagnoses which will improve patient outcomes.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted radiology.

Key players in AI-assisted radiology – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to AI-assisted radiology

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nuctech Company 39 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 37 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 34 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 32 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 31 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 31 Unlock Company Profile
Safran 29 Unlock Company Profile
Comet Holding 26 Unlock Company Profile
SVXR 20 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 20 Unlock Company Profile
GE Healthcare 18 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 16 Unlock Company Profile
Smiths Group 15 Unlock Company Profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 15 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 14 Unlock Company Profile
Sirmax 14 Unlock Company Profile
MARS Bioimaging 13 Unlock Company Profile
Altaris Capital Partners 13 Unlock Company Profile
Schlumberger 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 12 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 11 Unlock Company Profile
IHI 10 Unlock Company Profile
Werth Messtechnik 10 Unlock Company Profile
JOB 9 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 9 Unlock Company Profile
Adani 9 Unlock Company Profile
Shimadzu 8 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health 8 Unlock Company Profile
ConforMIS 8 Unlock Company Profile
Agfa-Gevaert 8 Unlock Company Profile
PCS-MOSAIC HOLDINGS 7 Unlock Company Profile
Elekta 7 Unlock Company Profile
IBEX Innovations 7 Unlock Company Profile
Konica Minolta 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hexagon 6 Unlock Company Profile
Edwards Lifesciences 5 Unlock Company Profile
Varex Imaging 5 Unlock Company Profile
Onex 5 Unlock Company Profile
Asto CT 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nikon 5 Unlock Company Profile
Tokyo Electron 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Siemens is one of the leading patent filers in AI-assisted radiology. Some other key patent filers in the medical devices space include Canon, General Electric, SVXR, Samsung Group and GE Healthcare.

In terms of geographic spread, IBEX Innovations leads the pack, followed by Elekta, Asto CT and Varex Imaging. By means of application diversity, Varex Imaging leads, with ConforMIS and Nikon in second and third place, respectively.

AI has the potential to augment radiology workflows in radiology in many ways. AI-assisted radiology can improve surgical and exam planning, image reconstruction, image analysis, and support clinical decision making. AI-assisted radiology is expected to become a new set of novel tools in the hands of the radiologist. Such use of AI is likely to be ubiquitous and somewhat invisible to the physician, blending into the background of clinical decision-making processes.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.

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

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. 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.