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: Clinical trials management systems.

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

Clinical trials management systems is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

A Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) is a software system used in the management of clinical trials. This system manages and maintains planning, reporting functions, and trial enrolees contact information, alongside monitoring of deadlines and milestones.

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 clinical trials management systems.

Key players in clinical trials management systems – 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 clinical trials management systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Enlitic 93 Unlock company profile
Oracle 81 Unlock company profile
Apple 79 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 79 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 62 Unlock company profile
Predictive Safety SRP 56 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 54 Unlock company profile
DEKA Research and Development 46 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 43 Unlock company profile
Hologic 39 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 37 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 37 Unlock company profile
Masimo 33 Unlock company profile
Global Payments 33 Unlock company profile
Beta Bionics 24 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 24 Unlock company profile
General Electric 23 Unlock company profile
IQVIA Holdings 23 Unlock company profile
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions 22 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 22 Unlock company profile
Canon 20 Unlock company profile
DexCom 19 Unlock company profile
Bigfoot Biomedical 16 Unlock company profile
Imprivata 16 Unlock company profile
OptumHealth Care Solutions 16 Unlock company profile
Vignet 14 Unlock company profile
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics 14 Unlock company profile
Fresenius 13 Unlock company profile
Getinge 12 Unlock company profile
Surgical Theater 12 Unlock company profile
Ricoh 12 Unlock company profile
Medical Informatics 11 Unlock company profile
Siemens 11 Unlock company profile
Cell ID 11 Unlock company profile
Magic Leap 11 Unlock company profile
Eli Lilly and 10 Unlock company profile
5 Health 10 Unlock company profile
Endocanna Health 10 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 10 Unlock company profile
athenahealth 10 Unlock company profile
Zoetis 9 Unlock company profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 9 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 9 Unlock company profile
MDClone 9 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 9 Unlock company profile
Tempus Labs 8 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 8 Unlock company profile
Epic Systems 8 Unlock company profile
Theator 7 Unlock company profile
MapHabit 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Enlitic is one of the leading patent filers in clinical trials management system software. Some other key patent filers in the field include Predictive Safety, Apple, Koninklijke Philips, Becton Dickinson, Oracle, International Business Machines (IBM) and DEKA Research and Development.

In terms of application diversity, MapHabit leads the pack, followed by Predictive Safety and Becton Dickinson. By means of geographic reach, Magic Leap held the top position, followed by Medical Informatics and Becton Dickinson in second and third spots, respectively.

AI can enhance clinical trials management system software by linking Big Data and electronic medical records, published medical literature and clinical trial databases to improve recruitment, and by matching the selection criterion to patient characteristics, reducing contraindications and adverse events. In the era of companion diagnostics and personalised medicine, it is increasingly important that the clinical trials management team recruits the correct patients, in order to improve the prospects of the trial and facilitate eventual regulatory approvals.

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


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.