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 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 Innovation in Medical Devices: Cardiovascular implant delivery catheters.

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, neurostimulation therapy, smart physiotherapy devices, and real-time IR thermographic imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Precision radiotherapy, electric atomisers, and bio-active prosthesis coating are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are bioresorbable stent coating and cryogenic tissue treatment, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry

Cardiovascular implant delivery catheters is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

A catheter is a thin, plastic tube that can be inserted into a blood vessel to administer treatment inside. The positioning of several cardiac devices, including leads, valves, and stents, requires the use of catheters. Unlike the invasive open surgical approach, this method of therapy just needs to make a small puncture site in the skin.

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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cardiovascular implant delivery catheters.

Key players in cardiovascular implant delivery catheters – 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 cardiovascular implant delivery catheters

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
W. L. Gore & Associates 374 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 326 Unlock company profile
Edwards Lifesciences 295 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 259 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 238 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 174 Unlock company profile
Terumo 149 Unlock company profile
Cook Group 145 Unlock company profile
Advanced Bifurcation Systems 78 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 51 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 49 Unlock company profile
Biotronik 46 Unlock company profile
Silk Road Medical 42 Unlock company profile
Penumbra 34 Unlock company profile
Route 92 Medical 29 Unlock company profile
Endologix 28 Unlock company profile
Hotspur Technologies 27 Unlock company profile
Bentley InnoMed 26 Unlock company profile
TransAortic Medical 26 Unlock company profile
RAM Medical Innovations 24 Unlock company profile
Concept Medical 22 Unlock company profile
Cardinal Health 21 Unlock company profile
Teleflex 21 Unlock company profile
Angioslide 20 Unlock company profile
Blue Sail Medical 19 Unlock company profile
Cook 18 Unlock company profile
Contego Medical 15 Unlock company profile
Kona Gold Beverage 14 Unlock company profile
Ostial 14 Unlock company profile
Svelte Medical Systems 14 Unlock company profile
Vesper Medical 12 Unlock company profile
Hellman & Friedman 12 Unlock company profile
Advanced Stent Technologies 12 Unlock company profile
Minvasys 11 Unlock company profile
Olympus 10 Unlock company profile
JenaValve Technology 10 Unlock company profile
MicroPort Scientific 10 Unlock company profile
Merit Medical Systems 10 Unlock company profile
Colibri Heart Valve 10 Unlock company profile
CorFlow Therapeutics 9 Unlock company profile
Asahi Intecc 9 Unlock company profile
Swat Medical 9 Unlock company profile
HCA Healthcare 9 Unlock company profile
Avera Health 8 Unlock company profile
VASOInnovations 8 Unlock company profile
Mercator MedSystems 8 Unlock company profile
Nipro 8 Unlock company profile
Artivion 8 Unlock company profile
AngioDynamics 8 Unlock company profile
Cedars-Sinai Health System 8 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

W.L. Gore & Associates is one of the leading patent filers in the field of cardiovascular implant delivery catheters. Some other key patent filers in the field include Becton Dickinson, Edwards Lifesciences, Abbott Laboratories and Boston Scientific.

In terms of application diversity, Penumbra leads the pack, followed by Concept Medical and Kona Gold Beverage, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Mercator MedSystems held the top position, followed by Kona Gold Beverage and Minvasys in the second and third spots, respectively.

Due to factors such as ageing population in developing countries, an increase in chronic and cardiovascular diseases and a lack of readily available biological replacement options, the market for cardiovascular implant delivery catheters is growing considerably. As less invasive therapies and superior medical imaging become more common, the market share will continue to rise, and the market trends will be supported by factors such as the increasing need for interventional cardiac catheterization, technical developments, and improvements in sensor technology.

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.