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 digitalization. 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 Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality in Medical Devices: AR/VR Eyewear.
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.
AR/VR eyewear is a key innovation area in augmented reality/virtual reality
AR/VR eyewear is a head-worn device that creates a virtual or augmented reality environment by projecting a computer-generated image over the user’s sight of the actual world. The headset features an opening that allows the camera to see the surroundings.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AR/VR eyewear.
Key players in AR/VR eyewear – 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 AR/VR eyewear
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Magic Leap is one of the leading patent filers in AR/VR eyewear. Some other leading patent filers include Tobii, Microsoft and Alphabet.
In terms of application diversity, Becton Dickinson leads the pack, followed by Smileyscope and Huawei Investment & Holding. By means of geographic reach, Cleveland Clinic holds the top position, followed by Becton Dickinson and Pixium Vision in second and third spots, respectively.
Research in the AR/VR eyewear field is progressing rapidly as interest from both academia and the healthcare industry in the field is growing. Further technological advancements to improve the field of view, resolution, eye box size, and ease of manufacturing will expand their applications.
To further understand how augmented reality is disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Augmented Reality in Medical Devices.