The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of 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 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 Internet of Things in medical: blood glucose sensors. Buy the report here.
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, programmable infusion devices, wearable sleep assistance devices, and context-aware patient monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Remote dialysis monitoring, NFC implants, and medical ERS are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is body area network (BAN), which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the medical devices industry
Blood glucose sensors is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
The sensor used in a glucose monitor is placed underneath the skin to continuously measure blood glucose levels. The sensor tests glucose every few minutes, throughout the day and night. This will help in preventing low/high blood glucose emergencies and need fewer finger pricks. It is inserted by the user and needs to be replaced with a new disposable sensor every seven to ten days.
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 blood glucose sensors.
Key players in blood glucose sensors – 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 blood glucose sensors
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd||562||Unlock Company Profile|
|Medtronic Plc||455||Unlock Company Profile|
|PHC Holdings Corp||413||Unlock Company Profile|
|Abbott Laboratories||325||Unlock Company Profile|
|DexCom Inc||263||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bayer AG||128||Unlock Company Profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||105||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alphabet Inc||99||Unlock Company Profile|
|BIONIME Corp||99||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nippon Chemi-Con Corp||98||Unlock Company Profile|
|I-Sens Inc||72||Unlock Company Profile|
|Intuity Medical Inc||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic Holdings Corp||51||Unlock Company Profile|
|WaveForm Technologies, Inc||50||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sinocare Inc||45||Unlock Company Profile|
|Edwards Lifesciences Corp||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Platinum Equity LLC||35||Unlock Company Profile|
|Instrumentation Laboratory Sa||32||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cue Health Inc||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lifescan Ip Holdings, LLC||29||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sanofi||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Terumo Corp||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Uxn Co Ltd||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|ARKRAY USA Inc||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Baxter International Inc||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Koninklijke Philips NV||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sysmex Corp||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|iXensor Co. Ltd.||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|STMicroelectronics NV||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hygieia Inc||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pepex Biomedical, Inc.||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Becton Dickinson and Co||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dongwoon Anatech Co Ltd||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biolinq Inc||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Optimum Imaging Diagnostics LLC||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|ARKRAY Co Ltd Inc||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dare Bioscience Inc||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens AG||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arizona Board of Regents||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Danaher Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eastman Chemical Co||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Omron Corp||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|PKvitality SAS||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shenzhen SiliconBased Bionic Technology Co Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines Corp||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|W. L. Gore & Associates Inc||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Apple Inc||8||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
F.Hoffmann La-Roche is the leading patent filer in the field of blood glucose sensors. Some other key patent filers in the field include Medtronic and PHC Holdings.
In terms of application diversity, Dare Bioscience leads the pack, followed by Cue Health and Hygieia. By geographic reach, Bionime holds the top position, followed by Cue Health and Intuity Medical in second and third spots, respectively.
The growing prevalence of obesity and diabetes, and ease of use are improving the future prospects of these devices. However, development should focus on training endocrinologists on the usage of these devices and making the sensors reusable for providing long-term benefits.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.