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 of 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 Internet of Things in Medical Devices: Blood glucose sensors.
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, ingestible sensors, wireless gastric stimulation devices and remote nerve stimulation devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Dosage monitoring inhalators, programmable infusion pumps, and athletic monitoring sensors are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are blood glucose sensors and medical emergency response systems, which are 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 50+ 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 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 blood glucose sensors
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Cue Health leads the pack, followed by Dare Bioscience and Apple. By means of geographic reach, BIONIME holds the top position, followed by Johnson & Johnson and Apple in the 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.