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 CT imaging. 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 CT imaging is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) assisted computer tomography (CT) imaging has the potential to enhance the utility of traditional CT imaging by automatically diagnosing changes in organ features as an indication of disease, and to use as a true diagnostic tool to relate features to specific diseases. This greatly helps the radiologist and other clinicians to interpret images, which allows them to provide more accurate and timely diagnoses and 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 CT imaging.

Key players in AI-assisted CT imaging – 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 CT imaging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Heartflow 268 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 212 Unlock Company Profile
Enlitic 94 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 85 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 81 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 58 Unlock Company Profile
Elekta 45 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 39 Unlock Company Profile
Kheiron Medical Technologies 39 Unlock Company Profile
Cleerly 28 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 28 Unlock Company Profile
Episurf Medical 22 Unlock Company Profile
Vektor Medical 18 Unlock Company Profile
Curemetrix 17 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 16 Unlock Company Profile
Avanos Medical 16 Unlock Company Profile
MARS Bioimaging 14 Unlock Company Profile
ASAN Foundation 14 Unlock Company Profile
Hologic 13 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
VIDA Diagnostics 13 Unlock Company Profile
DIO 12 Unlock Company Profile
Heuron 10 Unlock Company Profile
General Hospital 10 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 10 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 9 Unlock Company Profile
Innate Pharma 9 Unlock Company Profile
Lunit 9 Unlock Company Profile
Bio-Tree Systems 9 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent Holdings 8 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 8 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing SenseTime Technology Development 6 Unlock Company Profile
Elucid Bioimaging 6 Unlock Company Profile
AI Medical Service 6 Unlock Company Profile
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services 6 Unlock Company Profile
Zebra Medical Vision 6 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 6 Unlock Company Profile
Konica Minolta 6 Unlock Company Profile
JSR 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Intelligence 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 5 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 5 Unlock Company Profile
IMPAC Medical Systems 5 Unlock Company Profile
Medical IP 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen United Imaging Healthcare 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mayo Clinic 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in AI-assisted CT imaging. Other key patent filers in the medical device sector include Enlitic, Elekta, Kheiron Medical Technologies, and Fujifilm Holding.

In terms of Application Diversity, Innate Pharma leads the pack, followed by JSR, Soho Global Health and Curemetrix, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Curemetrix leads the pack, followed by Medical IP and Kheiron Medical Technologies.

The AI era is providing rapid advances within diagnostic imaging. AI assisted analysis of CT images removes compromise of speed and image resolution that was found previously and will address the mounting workflow pressures found within diagnostic images, pressures that are mounting as the radiologist workforce reduces. Improved and faster diagnostic imaging will allow the modality to work hand in hand with other diagnostic approaches, such as in vitro diagnostics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, computer-assisted CT imaging proved to be invaluable in identifying COVID-19 cases, as the gold standard PCR test failed to identify even all symptomatic cases.

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.