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 fixation devices.

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 fixation devices is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Cardiovascular implant fixation devices are designed to keep the implants in place to assist proper functioning. They guard against accidental removal and displacement of implants.

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

Key players in cardiovascular implant fixation devices – 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 fixation devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Edwards Lifesciences 3256 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 2405 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 1864 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 1608 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 1461 Unlock company profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings 1343 Unlock company profile
Stryker 1087 Unlock company profile
Cook Group 976 Unlock company profile
W. L. Gore & Associates 891 Unlock company profile
Globus Medical 422 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 313 Unlock company profile
Venus Medtech Hangzhou 304 Unlock company profile
Terumo 278 Unlock company profile
Ldr Medical 246 Unlock company profile
Smith & Nephew 245 Unlock company profile
Endologix 203 Unlock company profile
HighLife 148 Unlock company profile
LivaNova 135 Unlock company profile
Surgalign Holdings 133 Unlock company profile
JenaValve Technology 132 Unlock company profile
Neovasc 129 Unlock company profile
Sofradim Production 125 Unlock company profile
Olympus 123 Unlock company profile
Hellman & Friedman 116 Unlock company profile
Coloplast 115 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 114 Unlock company profile
Moskowitz Family 109 Unlock company profile
Biedermann Motech 103 Unlock company profile
Cook 103 Unlock company profile
ValCare 98 Unlock company profile
Medtentia International 91 Unlock company profile
AbbVie 90 Unlock company profile
AMS Research 88 Unlock company profile
Spinal Elements Holdings Inc 87 Unlock company profile
Enovis 86 Unlock company profile
NuVasive 84 Unlock company profile
GI Dynamics 81 Unlock company profile
B. Braun Melsungen 80 Unlock company profile
4Tech 78 Unlock company profile
MicroPort Scientific 77 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 75 Unlock company profile
Simplify Medical 75 Unlock company profile
Spine Wave 75 Unlock company profile
Medinol 75 Unlock company profile
Opus Medical Therapies 70 Unlock company profile
SI-Bone 70 Unlock company profile
Aortic Innovations 69 Unlock company profile
Merit Medical Systems 69 Unlock company profile
Woodwelding 69 Unlock company profile
Colibri Heart Valve 68 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Edwards Lifesciences is one of the leading patent filers in the cardiovascular implant fixation devices field. Some other key patent filers in the field include Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson.

In terms of application diversity, Olympus leads the pack, followed by AbbVie and 4Tech. By means of geographic reach, Coloplast holds the top position, followed by Opus Medical Therapies and Medinol in the second and third spots, respectively.

Technology breakthroughs in implant attachment mechanisms have eliminated the need for removal surgery or long-term interference. Unlike other biomaterials, stainless steel has strong corrosion resistance in an oxygen-rich environment, making it one of the key materials utilised in the construction of internal fixation implants. The cost-effective nature of the material further aids its high acceptance. The development of custom devices that are both safe and compatible is expected to be the focus of future development in the area.

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.