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, 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: bioabsorbable coated implantsBuy 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

Bioabsorbable coated implants is a key innovation area in medical devices

Bioabsorbable coated implants are widely used in many fields, such as orthopaedics, cardiovascular and tissue engineering. They are non-permanent and eventually restore the biomechanical and immunological characteristics of the patient's tissue. They also act as a structural framework for healing and a pathway for further therapies, such as drug elution. They safely break down inside the body and do not require removal.

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 290+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of bioabsorbable coated implants.

Key players in bioabsorbable coated implants – 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 bioabsorbable coated implants

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Medtronic Plc 361 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 252 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker Corp 201 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 192 Unlock Company Profile
W. L. Gore & Associates Inc 146 Unlock Company Profile
EW Healthcare Partners 146 Unlock Company Profile
Cook Group Inc 132 Unlock Company Profile
Micell Technologies Inc 132 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific Corp 100 Unlock Company Profile
Terumo Corp 98 Unlock Company Profile
Blue Sail Medical Co Ltd 90 Unlock Company Profile
Hellman & Friedman LLC 84 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 66 Unlock Company Profile
Sernova Corp 59 Unlock Company Profile
MicroPort Scientific Corp 58 Unlock Company Profile
MiMedx Group Inc 49 Unlock Company Profile
Medinol Ltd 48 Unlock Company Profile
Kona Gold Beverage Inc 48 Unlock Company Profile
Merit Medical Systems Inc 42 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie Inc 41 Unlock Company Profile
OrbusNeich 40 Unlock Company Profile
Exogenesis Corp 38 Unlock Company Profile
Biotronik SE & Co KG 37 Unlock Company Profile
Getinge AB 35 Unlock Company Profile
Concept Medical Inc 35 Unlock Company Profile
Freudenberg & Co KG 35 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka Holdings Co Ltd 34 Unlock Company Profile
CorMatrix Cardiovascular Inc 32 Unlock Company Profile
Orthorebirth Co Ltd 30 Unlock Company Profile
Aveni Inc 29 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM NV 29 Unlock Company Profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc 28 Unlock Company Profile
InspireMD, Inc. 26 Unlock Company Profile
PolyPid Ltd 25 Unlock Company Profile
Reflow Medical, Inc. 24 Unlock Company Profile
OrbusNeich Medical, Inc. 23 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Stent Technology Co., Ltd. 23 Unlock Company Profile
Midcap Finco Designated Activity Company, 23 Unlock Company Profile
Children's Medical Center 23 Unlock Company Profile
General Hospital Corp 22 Unlock Company Profile
Q3 Medical Devices Limited 21 Unlock Company Profile
Straumann Holding AG 21 Unlock Company Profile
Heraeus Holding GmbH 21 Unlock Company Profile
Itochu Corp 21 Unlock Company Profile
Sino Medical Sciences Technology Inc 20 Unlock Company Profile
Elixir Medical Corp 20 Unlock Company Profile
B. Braun Melsungen AG 20 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 19 Unlock Company Profile
The Cigna Group 19 Unlock Company Profile
PolyNovo Ltd 19 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Medtronic is the leading patent filer in the field of bioabsorbable coated implants. Some other key patent filers in the field include Abbott Laboratories, Stryker, and Johnson & Johnson.

In terms of application diversity, PolyNovo leads the pack, followed by Orthorebirth and Aveni. By geographic reach, Sernova holds the top position, followed by Stryker and InspireMD in second and third spots, respectively.

Bioabsorbable implants are gaining popularity due to their crucial role in tissue rebuilding following the intended function in the body. Based on the function that the material performs in the body, they decay at a pace that is acceptable and necessary to the body. Future development should focus on improving the biomechanical properties of bioabsorbable implants.

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.