The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the 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 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in medical: automated peritoneal dialysisBuy 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, neuromodulation implants, shapeable guide catheters, and biopotential signal monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Fall detection monitoring, ingestible sensors, and biofeedback wearables are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are CPR assistance devices and bioabsorbable coated implants, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry

Automated peritoneal dialysis is a key innovation area in medical devices

Automated peritoneal dialysis is a process that uses a machine (an automated cycler) to carry out several exchanges throughout the duration of the night while a patient is sleeping. The dialysate is automatically poured into the abdomen by the cycler, where it stays for a while before being drained into a sterile bag that can be dumped the next morning.

Important clinical outcomes have not been found to favor automated peritoneal dialysis over continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis in a substantial way. However, due to its psychological benefits, APD may be regarded as helpful in a certain subset of patients, such as the younger population undergoing peritoneal dialysis and those in jobs or education.

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 automated peritoneal dialysis.

Key players in automated peritoneal dialysis – 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 peritoneal dialysis

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co KGaA 697 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International Inc 380 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic Plc 206 Unlock Company Profile
B. Braun Melsungen AG 121 Unlock Company Profile
Fresenius SE & Co KGaA 87 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development Corp 50 Unlock Company Profile
Sequana Medical NV 43 Unlock Company Profile
Nikkiso Co Ltd 38 Unlock Company Profile
Mallinckrodt Plc 24 Unlock Company Profile
Duke Energy Corp 22 Unlock Company Profile
Masimo Corp 17 Unlock Company Profile
Haemonetics Corp 16 Unlock Company Profile
Resuscitec GmbH 14 Unlock Company Profile
Transonic Systems Inc 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nipro Corp 13 Unlock Company Profile
Terumo Corp 12 Unlock Company Profile
Henry Ford Health System 11 Unlock Company Profile
LivaNova Plc 11 Unlock Company Profile
I-Sep SAS 10 Unlock Company Profile
JMS Co Ltd 9 Unlock Company Profile
Immunic Inc 9 Unlock Company Profile
Nuwellis Inc 9 Unlock Company Profile
Spectrum Medical Ltd 8 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker Corp 7 Unlock Company Profile
Novalung GmbH 7 Unlock Company Profile
LiberDi Ltd 7 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 6 Unlock Company Profile
Wistron Corp 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Qidni Labs Inc 5 Unlock Company Profile
Stichting Imec Nederland 5 Unlock Company Profile
UAB Research Foundation 5 Unlock Company Profile
Allmed Medical Care Holdings Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
Pioneer Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Parker Hannifin Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Syscore GmbH 5 Unlock Company Profile
MicroPort Scientific Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc 4 Unlock Company Profile
NovaShunt AG 4 Unlock Company Profile
Analiza Inc 4 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil Co 3 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific Corp 3 Unlock Company Profile
Mirimedical LLC 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hema Metrics LLC 2 Unlock Company Profile
Gambro Hospal Schweiz AG 2 Unlock Company Profile
Aethlon Medical Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Humanity Life Extension LLC 2 Unlock Company Profile
Health Onvector Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Sichuan Nigale Biomedical Co Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Fresenius and Baxter International are two of the leading patent filers in automated peritoneal dialysis. Some other leading patent filers include Medtronic, B. Braun Melsungen, Sequana Medical, DEKA Research and Development, and Nikkiso.

In terms of application diversity, Saudi Arabian Oil leads, followed by Stryker and LivaNova. With regards to geographic reach, Mallinckrodt leads, followed by Masimo and Haemonetics.

The prevalence of end-stage renal illness is increasing globally, and it is anticipated that more people will need kidney replacement therapy in the future. APD is becoming a more often used choice for home-based dialysis. Automatic cycling enables a variety of treatments that can be personalized to the preferences and dialysis needs of each patient.

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.