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: Radiation Dose Optimizers.

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

Radiation dose optimisers is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence 

Radiation dose optimisation using artificial intelligence (AI) involves capturing good quality images with a dose level reduced to 35-40% to ensure patient safety without losing diagnostic information. This technology replaces the traditional dose optimising process which includes adjusting only scanning parameters, but AI involvement can reduce noise in low dose images and provide medical examination with resolution at base level doses, leading to reduced risk of radiation overexposure among patients.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of radiation dose optimisers.

Key players in radiation dose optimisers – 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 radiation dose optimisers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mitsubishi Electric 185 Unlock company profile
Siemens 156 Unlock company profile
Neuboron Medtech 76 Unlock company profile
Elekta 74 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 72 Unlock company profile
Canon 65 Unlock company profile
Accuray 48 Unlock company profile
German Cancer Research Center 41 Unlock company profile
Ion Beam Applications 41 Unlock company profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 38 Unlock company profile
Mevion Medical Systems 31 Unlock company profile
ViewRay 26 Unlock company profile
B dot Medical 23 Unlock company profile
RefleXion Medical 21 Unlock company profile
Precisis 16 Unlock company profile
Alberta Health Services 13 Unlock company profile
Hil Applied Medical 12 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 11 Unlock company profile
Radiabeam Technologies 11 Unlock company profile
Neusoft 11 Unlock company profile
Firsthand Technology Value Fund 11 Unlock company profile
Thor 9 Unlock company profile
Tokamak Energy 7 Unlock company profile
Resorttrust 7 Unlock company profile
Kaneka 7 Unlock company profile
Cryoelectra 7 Unlock company profile
Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services 6 Unlock company profile
Ion Beam Applications 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Mitsubishi Electric is one of the leading patent filers in the field of radiation dose optimisers. Some other key patent filers include Siemens and Neuboron Medtech.

In terms of application diversity, Resorttrust leads the pack, followed by Tokamak Energy and Alberta Health Services. By means of geographic reach, Thor holds the top position, followed by Tokamak Energy and Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services in the second and third spots, respectively.

Radiation Dose Optimisers using AI is likely to become dominant in diagnostic imaging modalities due to increasing number of radiology and nuclear medicine procedures. The technology not only provides high resolution images but also reduces risk of cancer in high-risk patients. Government regulations regarding overexposure and high doses of ionizing radiations, rising awareness of early disease diagnosis and harmful effects of radiation exposure have led to increasing adoption of this technology by healthcare providers.

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.