The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity 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 EHR/EMR.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
150+ innovations will shape the medical devices industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the medical devices industry using innovation intensity models built on over 550,000 patents, there are 150+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, AI-assisted radiology, motion artefact analysis, and treatment evaluation models are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. MRI image smoothing, AI-assisted EHR/EMR, and AI-assisted CT imaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are computer-assisted surgeries and 3D endoscopy, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the medical devices industry
AI-assisted EHR/EMR is a key innovation area in Artificial Intelligence
AI in EHRs (Electronic Health Records) improves data discovery, extraction of complex findings, and facilitates the use of Big Data to be used to generate personalised treatment recommendations, improving 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 70 companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted EHR/EMR.
Key players in AI-assisted EHR/EMR – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to AI-assisted EHR/EMR
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Heartflow is the leading patent filer in AI-assisted EMR/HER analysis. Other key patent filers include Smith & Nephew, Microsoft, Enlitic, Siemens and Tesseract Health.
By means of geographic reach, 4D Pharma held the top spot, followed by Smith & Nephew, Investor and Tesseract Health. In terms of application diversity, Heartflow leads the pack, followed by Autonomous Healthcare and Smith & Nephew.
Advancements in medical imaging and clinical diagnostics have resulted in the generation of large patient data sets, which are increasingly seen as inflexible, difficult to use and expensive to configure. AI-powered EHR systems will enable efficient use of multiple datasets across various parts of the healthcare universe, to be used to improve patient outcomes and management of the healthcare system. With AI integrated into these systems, more deep learning solutions enabling personalised healthcare are emerging. Integrated EHR/EMR, enabled by AI, improves and enhances communication between physicians and patients, leading to improved care.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.