The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, and growing importance of technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalization. In the last three years alone, there have been over 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in medical: automated diabetes management. Buy the report here.

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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 stabilizing 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.

30+ 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 155,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, ultrasonic nebulizers and intra-oral 3D imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intraocular pressure monitoring, automated diabetes management, and tissue repair implants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is CPR assistance devices, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry

Automated diabetes management is a key innovation area in medical devices

Automated diabetes management refers to the use of systems, methods, and devices to treat diabetes mellitus by modifying insulin dosage regimens, reducing glucotoxicity, and regaining function of the pancreatic beta-cells. These systems utilize data inputs such as blood glucose level measurements to determine if and how to vary components of a patient's insulin dosage regimen. The goal is to achieve and maintain a patient's glycemic state within a desired range.

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 80 companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated diabetes management.

Key players in automated diabetes management – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to automated diabetes management

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
DexCom 737 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 499 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 438 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 376 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 272 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 261 Unlock Company Profile
Bigfoot Biomedical 160 Unlock Company Profile
Aseko 145 Unlock Company Profile
Platinum Equity 100 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International 100 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 90 Unlock Company Profile
FitStar Labs 81 Unlock Company Profile
Beta Bionics 78 Unlock Company Profile
Hygieia 74 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 73 Unlock Company Profile
Insulet 57 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 53 Unlock Company Profile
BIONIME 47 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson 47 Unlock Company Profile
Amer Sports 40 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 28 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 28 Unlock Company Profile
Lifecycle Technologies 26 Unlock Company Profile
ROM Technologies 25 Unlock Company Profile
WellDoc 24 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia 22 Unlock Company Profile
Garmin 20 Unlock Company Profile
Senseonics 20 Unlock Company Profile
LumiraDx 19 Unlock Company Profile
Fitscript 17 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 16 Unlock Company Profile
PharmoRx Therapeutics 16 Unlock Company Profile
Indigo Diabetes 16 Unlock Company Profile
Lifescan 14 Unlock Company Profile
Biolinq 12 Unlock Company Profile
Polar Electro 12 Unlock Company Profile
adidas 11 Unlock Company Profile
POPS! Diabetes Care 10 Unlock Company Profile
IP 10 Unlock Company Profile
PHC 10 Unlock Company Profile
HemoCath 9 Unlock Company Profile
Three Rivers Cardiovascular Systems 9 Unlock Company Profile
MicroJet Technology 8 Unlock Company Profile
GlySens 7 Unlock Company Profile
FITLINXX 7 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
LG 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Chemi-Con 7 Unlock Company Profile
Starkey Hearing Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Smarthealth Electronics 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

DexCom and Abbott Laboratories are two of the leading patent filers in automated diabetes management. Some other key patent filers include F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Medtronic, and Magic Leap.

In terms of application diversity, LifeScan leads the pack, while Platinum Equity and Nokia stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Magic Leap held the top position, followed by Platinum Equity and BIONIME.

The future of automated diabetes management holds great promise, with advancements such as closed-loop systems, enhanced continuous glucose monitoring, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven algorithms, and telemedicine. This helps in transforming how individuals monitor and control their diabetes. Additionally, research into implantable devices and improved interoperability will expand the possibility for more effective individualized diabetes care.

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

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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.