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 Environment Sustainability in Medical Devices: Bioabsorbable coated implants.

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, robotic 3D bio-printing and 3D printed prosthesis are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Sharps disposal containers, biomedical 3D Printing, and tooth 3D Printing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are bio-compatible surgical adjuncts and bio-active prosthesis sealing, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the medical devices industry

Bioabsorbable coated implants is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

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 130+ 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 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 bioabsorbable coated implants

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Medtronic 299 Unlock company profile
Stryker 205 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 201 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 201 Unlock company profile
EW Healthcare Partners 142 Unlock company profile
Micell Technologies 131 Unlock company profile
W. L. Gore & Associates 130 Unlock company profile
Cook Group 124 Unlock company profile
Terumo 96 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 86 Unlock company profile
Blue Sail Medical 75 Unlock company profile
Hellman & Friedman 72 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 58 Unlock company profile
MicroPort Scientific 57 Unlock company profile
Sernova 52 Unlock company profile
Medinol 46 Unlock company profile
AbbVie 40 Unlock company profile
OrbusNeich 38 Unlock company profile
Biotronik 37 Unlock company profile
MiMedx Group 36 Unlock company profile
Kona Gold Beverage 35 Unlock company profile
Getinge 35 Unlock company profile
Freudenberg 34 Unlock company profile
Merit Medical Systems 34 Unlock company profile
Concept Medical 32 Unlock company profile
Exogenesis 30 Unlock company profile
CorMatrix Cardiovascular 29 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 29 Unlock company profile
Aveni 27 Unlock company profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings 27 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 25 Unlock company profile
InspireMD 25 Unlock company profile
Japan Stent Technology 25 Unlock company profile
PolyPid 23 Unlock company profile
Children's Medical Center 23 Unlock company profile
Midcap Finco Designated Activity Company, 23 Unlock company profile
OrbusNeich Medical 23 Unlock company profile
Straumann Holding 22 Unlock company profile
Orthorebirth 21 Unlock company profile
Reflow Medical 21 Unlock company profile
Q3 Medical Devices 21 Unlock company profile
LifeTech Scientific 21 Unlock company profile
Biotyx Medical (Shenzhen) 19 Unlock company profile
B. Braun Melsungen 19 Unlock company profile
BioNet Holding 19 Unlock company profile
Elixir Medical 19 Unlock company profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 18 Unlock company profile
Itochu 18 Unlock company profile
General Hospital 17 Unlock company profile
Galilee Medical Center 17 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

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

In terms of application diversity, Orthorebirth leads the pack, followed by Aveni and PolyPid. By means of geographic reach, Sernova holds the top position, followed by PolyPid and Orthorebirth in the 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.