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 Innovation in Medical Devices: Bio-active prosthesis coating.

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, neurostimulation therapy, smart physiotherapy devices, and real-time IR thermographic imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Precision radiotherapy, electric atomisers, and bio-active prosthesis coating are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are bioresorbable stent coating and cryogenic tissue treatment, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry

Bio-active prosthesis coating is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Bio-active prosthesis coatings are coatings with the capacity to chemically bind directly with living tissues, such as soft tissue and bone. Due to their distinctive capacity to build a link between the bone and surrounding tissues, these bioactive prosthesis coatings are mostly used as coating materials in orthopedic and dental implants. The coating is utilized to promote the growth of bone tissue into and around the prosthesis surface.

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 bio-active prosthesis coating.

Key players in bio-active prosthesis coating – 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 bio-active prosthesis coating

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
AbbVie 55 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 47 Unlock company profile
Merz PharmaaA 29 Unlock company profile
Spotlight Technology Partners 26 Unlock company profile
Croma-Pharma 25 Unlock company profile
Mati Therapeutics 22 Unlock company profile
Orthopaedic Innovation Centre 21 Unlock company profile
Teijin 20 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 15 Unlock company profile
Kona Gold Beverage 14 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 14 Unlock company profile
P&R 13 Unlock company profile
Hkl Medical 13 Unlock company profile
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore 9 Unlock company profile
Klox Technologies 9 Unlock company profile
QLT Plug Delivery 9 Unlock company profile
Tyco Healthcare Group 9 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Integra LifeSciences Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 7 Unlock company profile
Bezwada Biomedical 7 Unlock company profile
Halscion 7 Unlock company profile
Singapore Health Services 6 Unlock company profile
Omeros 5 Unlock company profile
ODIN Biotech Partners 5 Unlock company profile
Reflex Medical 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

AbbVie is one of the leading patent filers in the field of bio-active prosthesis coating. Some other key patent filers in the field include Medtronic, Merz Pharma, Spotlight Technology Partners and Croma-Pharma.

In terms of application diversity, ODIN Biotech Partners leads the pack, followed by Mati Therapeutics and QLT Plug Delivery. By means of geographic reach, Merz Pharma held the top position, followed by P&R and Croma-Pharma in second and third spots, respectively.

The failure of conventional surface modification techniques to produce a friendly surface covering for implants is largely due to corrosion. Therefore, bioactive prosthetic coating has a bright future in biomedical applications. Long term, sustainable coatings research efforts should be devoted to further enhancing and managing their physiochemical characteristics. Even better, because they allow for workability in composition and characteristics, composite coatings on implants may be tailored to the demands of the host.

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.