The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by an 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: Medical Imaging Informatics.
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
Medical imaging informatics is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Medical imaging informatics is a part of biomedical informatics that is used to generate digital medical images and cater to their management, transfer, storage, distribution, perception, privacy, and security. Medical imaging informatics applies information technologies (IT) to improve the efficiency and reliability of medical services through data.
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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of medical imaging informatics.
Key players in medical imaging informatics – 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 cashierless stores
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Heartflow||450||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens||177||Unlock company profile|
|Koninklijke Philips||143||Unlock company profile|
|Fujifilm Holdings||79||Unlock company profile|
|Canon||74||Unlock company profile|
|CathWorks||73||Unlock company profile|
|International Business Machines||56||Unlock company profile|
|Applied Lifesciences & Systems||53||Unlock company profile|
|Stryker||45||Unlock company profile|
|Samsung Group||44||Unlock company profile|
|EBM||42||Unlock company profile|
|Cerebrotech Medical Systems||38||Unlock company profile|
|Medtronic||37||Unlock company profile|
|Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare||35||Unlock company profile|
|Synaptive Medical||35||Unlock company profile|
|Podimetrics||33||Unlock company profile|
|Venus Concept||32||Unlock company profile|
|Elekta||30||Unlock company profile|
|Lifetrack Medical Systems||29||Unlock company profile|
|Heuron||28||Unlock company profile|
|General Electric||24||Unlock company profile|
|Sony Group||23||Unlock company profile|
|Align Technology||21||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||21||Unlock company profile|
|LipoScience (formerly LipoMed)||20||Unlock company profile|
|Boston Scientific||19||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba Medical Systems||18||Unlock company profile|
|CorVista Health||17||Unlock company profile|
|NuraLogix||17||Unlock company profile|
|Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris||16||Unlock company profile|
|Konica Minolta||16||Unlock company profile|
|Estee Lauder||15||Unlock company profile|
|Myocardial Solutions||14||Unlock company profile|
|Circle Cardiovascular Imaging||14||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi||14||Unlock company profile|
|Dental Monitoring||13||Unlock company profile|
|Surgical Information Sciences||13||Unlock company profile|
|BrainLAB||12||Unlock company profile|
|Fundacion para la Investigacion Biomedica del Hospital Gregorio Maranon||12||Unlock company profile|
|Digimarc||12||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba||12||Unlock company profile|
|LVIS||11||Unlock company profile|
|UCB||11||Unlock company profile|
|SymphonyAI Group||11||Unlock company profile|
|Terumo||11||Unlock company profile|
|Covanos||10||Unlock company profile|
|Seno Medical Instruments||10||Unlock company profile|
|Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services||10||Unlock company profile|
|Picterus||10||Unlock company profile|
|Wuxi Hisky Medical Technologies||10||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Heartflow is one of the leading patent filers in the field of medical imaging informatics. Other leading patent filers include Siemens, Koninklijke Philips, Fujifilm Holdings, Canon, and CathWorks.
In terms of application diversity, Applied Lifesciences and System leads the pack, followed by Elekta and LVIS. By means of geographic reach, UCB holds the top position, followed by Applied Lifesciences and System and LVIS in the second and third spots, respectively.
Advancements in the field of medical imaging informatics will improve the quality of images, leading to better disease diagnosis and transforming imaging informatics. The increasing demand for faster and more accurate medical data extraction will result in a paradigm shift in imaging informatics.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.