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, and 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 Innovation in medical: cardiac stimulation implants. 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, ultrasonic nebulizers and intra-oral 3D imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intraocular pressure monitoring, automated diabetes management, and tissue repair implants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is CPR assistance devices, which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry
Cardiac stimulation implants is a key innovation area in medical devices
Cardiac stimulation implants are medical devices that use electrical signals to regulate the heart's rhythm and treat conditions such as bradycardia, heart failure, and arrhythmias. These implants are typically inserted through surgery and consist of two parts: a pulse generator and one or more leads that connect to the heart. The pulse generator sends electrical signals through the leads to regulate the heart's rhythm and can also collect and transmit data to healthcare professionals for monitoring and adjustments.
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 280+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cardiac stimulation implants.
Key players in cardiac stimulation 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 cardiac stimulation implants
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Asahi Kasei||793||Unlock Company Profile|
|Medtronic||584||Unlock Company Profile|
|Boston Scientific||412||Unlock Company Profile|
|Abbott Laboratories||209||Unlock Company Profile|
|West Affum||187||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nyxoah||152||Unlock Company Profile|
|Koninklijke Philips||148||Unlock Company Profile|
|MED-EL Elektromedizinische Gerate||65||Unlock Company Profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||59||Unlock Company Profile|
|Stryker||57||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biotronik||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Integer||52||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cala Health||51||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nippon Telegraph and Telephone||49||Unlock Company Profile|
|Halo Neuro||49||Unlock Company Profile|
|Saluda Medical||48||Unlock Company Profile|
|Qualcomm||48||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toray Industries||44||Unlock Company Profile|
|Astellas Pharma||44||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nalu Medical||40||Unlock Company Profile|
|Intellectual Ventures Management||40||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alphabet||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cochlear||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cognito Therapeutics||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tivic Health Systems||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||35||Unlock Company Profile|
|Man & Science||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|Milux||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|Inspire Medical Systems||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Motors||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|Demant||32||Unlock Company Profile|
|Avanos Medical||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|Neuroenhancement Lab||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|G Medical Innovations||29||Unlock Company Profile|
|IP||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|NeuSpera Medical||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|NeuroMetrix||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Synchron Australia||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|NeuroPace||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Element Science||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|i-Lumen Scientific||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|YBrain||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Evoke Neuroscience||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Signifier Medical Technology||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Implantica Patent||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|GSK Consumer Healthcare||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Alfred Mann Foundation||23||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson leads the pack, while Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, and The Alfred Mann Foundation stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Toray Industries held the top position, followed by Tivic Health Systems and Man & Science.
The landscape of cardiac procedures is being reshaped by cardiac stimulation implants, as they undergo a transformation towards greater compactness, thereby boosting their efficiency. The downsizing promises to simplify implantation procedures, with the potential to reduce complications. Moreover, the integration of wireless connectivity in these cardiac implants is anticipated, enabling remote monitoring and programming. This advancement empowers both patients and healthcare providers to access real-time information regarding the device's performance and the patient's cardiac health, fostering more individualized care and prompt interventions. These innovative implants can be customized through artificial intelligence (AI) integration, resulting in enhanced treatment plans.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.