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 materials. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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 materials is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Cardiovascular implant materials involve biomaterials that are compatible with the patient’s body and help with the proper functioning of the heart and blood vessels. The materials include metals, alloys, carbons, ceramics, and polymers such as pyrolytic carbon, titanium, stainless steel, and nitinol. Cardiovascular implant materials have properties such as natural corrosion resistance, the capacity to control chemical reactions inside the body, and non-magnetic properties. Titanium and its alloys are utilised frequently in cardiovascular implants due to its strength, inertness, and lack of magnetic characteristics.

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

Key players in cardiovascular implant materials – 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 materials

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Edwards Lifesciences 1326 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 1298 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 1150 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 1082 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 855 Unlock Company Profile
W. L. Gore & Associates 821 Unlock Company Profile
Cook Group 455 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 370 Unlock Company Profile
Terumo 342 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 302 Unlock Company Profile
Sofradim Production 193 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 179 Unlock Company Profile
Venus Medtech Hangzhou 169 Unlock Company Profile
Smith & Nephew 139 Unlock Company Profile
Micell Technologies 128 Unlock Company Profile
ConforMIS 118 Unlock Company Profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings 116 Unlock Company Profile
Toray Industries 103 Unlock Company Profile
Endologix 99 Unlock Company Profile
LifeTech Scientific 98 Unlock Company Profile
Getinge 97 Unlock Company Profile
Biotronik 96 Unlock Company Profile
Hellman & Friedman 95 Unlock Company Profile
Elixir Medical 89 Unlock Company Profile
Vactronix Scientific 82 Unlock Company Profile
Q3 Medical Devices 80 Unlock Company Profile
Nipro 79 Unlock Company Profile
MicroPort Scientific 79 Unlock Company Profile
Globus Medical 77 Unlock Company Profile
CorMatrix Cardiovascular 76 Unlock Company Profile
Merit Medical Systems 75 Unlock Company Profile
JenaValve Technology 70 Unlock Company Profile
SI-Bone 70 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 69 Unlock Company Profile
4C Medical Technologies 68 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 68 Unlock Company Profile
Aortic Innovations 64 Unlock Company Profile
Taewoong Medical 60 Unlock Company Profile
Medtentia International 59 Unlock Company Profile
Kona Gold Beverage 57 Unlock Company Profile
OrbusNeich 57 Unlock Company Profile
Woodwelding 57 Unlock Company Profile
Cardinal Health 55 Unlock Company Profile
Provectus Biopharmaceuticals 55 Unlock Company Profile
REVA Medical 52 Unlock Company Profile
Blue Sail Medical 49 Unlock Company Profile
Surgalign Holdings 49 Unlock Company Profile
Sino Medical Sciences Technology 48 Unlock Company Profile
LivaNova 48 Unlock Company Profile
ValCare 47 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Edwards Lifesciences is one of the leading patent filers in the field of cardiovascular implant materials. Some other key patent filers in the field, include Medtronic, Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific, and Johnson & Johnson.

In terms of application diversity, Micell Technologies leads the pack, followed by Toray Industries and CorMatrix Cardiovascular. By means of geographic reach, Hellman & Friedman holds the top position, followed by 4C Medical Technologies, and Sino Medical Sciences Technology in the second and third spots, respectively.

The demand for cardiovascular implant materials for the implants market will increase due to the growing burden of the ageing population and the associated cardiovascular disorders. Future advancements will involve the development of materials that are not only compatible but also allow tissue regeneration and long-term usage.

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

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.