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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: cardiac defibrillatorsBuy 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

Cardiac defibrillators is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Cardiac defibrillators are devices that pulse an electric current into the heart to allow it to beat normally. They are used to prevent or treat a condition that results in irregular heartbeat called arrhythmia. Defibrillators can also revive an abruptly stopped heart. Automated external defibrillators, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and wearable cardioverter defibrillators are the different types of cardiac defibrillators available for use.

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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cardiac defibrillators.

Key players in cardiac defibrillators – 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 cardiac defibrillators

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Asahi Kasei Corp 674 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker Corp 161 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips NV 150 Unlock Company Profile
Senzime AB 20 Unlock Company Profile
Atreo Medical, Inc. 16 Unlock Company Profile
Ergomed Plc 15 Unlock Company Profile
Weinmann Emergency Medical Technology GmbH + Co KG 10 Unlock Company Profile
Dragerwerk AG & Co KGaA 10 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co Ltd 10 Unlock Company Profile
PCS-MOSAIC HOLDINGS, LLC 8 Unlock Company Profile
HeartHero Inc 8 Unlock Company Profile
SmartResQ ApS 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nihon Kohden Corp 6 Unlock Company Profile
Schiller AG 6 Unlock Company Profile
GEMAR Srl 5 Unlock Company Profile
UAB Research Foundation 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mediana Co Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
The ODP Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mercury Systems Inc 4 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic Plc 4 Unlock Company Profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
Kia Corp 3 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Co 3 Unlock Company Profile
Lifewave Biomedical Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
LifeWave Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
ViVest Medical Technology Co Ltd 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ximio Health Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Loewenstein Medical Technology Gmbh Co Kg 2 Unlock Company Profile
Radianqbio Co Ltd 2 Unlock Company Profile
Emergency Medical Systems, Inc. 2 Unlock Company Profile
Rochester Regional Health System 2 Unlock Company Profile
Clalit Health Services 2 Unlock Company Profile
Adoneh, LLC 2 Unlock Company Profile
Medsimlab Lda 1 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Koden Kogyo Kk 1 Unlock Company Profile
Nanoomtech Co Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile
Mindray Medical International 1 Unlock Company Profile
Credo Reference 1 Unlock Company Profile
Chengdu Third People's Hospital 1 Unlock Company Profile
Largan Precision Co Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Weiweisi Medical Technology Co Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile
People's Hospital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 1 Unlock Company Profile
CU Medical Systems Inc 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Asahi Kasei is the leading patent filer in the cardiac defibrillators market. Some other leading patent filers include Stryker and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, Hyundai Motor leads, followed by Kia and Dragerwerk. By geographic reach, Senzime leads, followed by Ergomed and Dragerwerk.

Devices for controlling heart rhythm appear to have a promising future, however, integrating and implementing new technology is still difficult. A tailored strategy with focused cardiac implantable electronic devices implantation and unique risk stratifications is needed. Additional research is required to identify cutting-edge tactics and tools that will improve patient diagnosis and care. Relevant advancements and breakthroughs in device design, implantation techniques, and postoperative monitoring may enhance patient clinical results.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.

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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.