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 of 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 Cloud in Medical Devices: Mixed reality medical device interfaces.

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, CT angiography analysis automation, interactive nutrition monitoring and management, and clinical trials management systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Sensor integrated prosthesis, remote health monitoring networks, and AR/VR medical image visualisation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is the computer assisted surgeries, which is now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for cloud in the medical devices industry 

Mixed reality medical device interfaces is a key innovation area in cloud

Mixed reality medical device interfaces enable healthcare professionals to view critical patient information in real-time, thereby improving surgical accuracy and patient outcomes. These interfaces are comparatively more convenient than physical screens and charts, owing to better imaging, streamlined information dissipation, and personalised patient care.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of mixed reality medical device interfaces.

Key players in mixed reality medical device interfaces – 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 mixed reality medical device interfaces

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Magic Leap 171 Unlock company profile
Stryker 89 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 56 Unlock company profile
Align Technology 25 Unlock company profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings 23 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 20 Unlock company profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 19 Unlock company profile
Globus Medical 18 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 15 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 14 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 13 Unlock company profile
NovaRad 13 Unlock company profile
Meta Platforms 13 Unlock company profile
Butterfly Network 13 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 12 Unlock company profile
General Electric 11 Unlock company profile
CorVista Health 11 Unlock company profile
CMR Surgical 10 Unlock company profile
Synaptive Medical 10 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 9 Unlock company profile
Siemens 9 Unlock company profile
Accuray 9 Unlock company profile
Chang Gung Memorial Foundation 9 Unlock company profile
Cloud DX 8 Unlock company profile
Peacs 8 Unlock company profile
Accenture 7 Unlock company profile
BrainLAB 6 Unlock company profile
Surgical Theater 6 Unlock company profile
Proximie 5 Unlock company profile
Novartis 5 Unlock company profile
3D Systems 5 Unlock company profile
RoundGlass 5 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Magic Leap is one of the leading patent filers in the field of mixed-reality medical device interfaces. Some other key patent filers in the field include Stryker and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, Globus Medical leads the pack, followed by Magic Leap and Medtronic. By means of geographic reach, CMR Surgical held the top position, followed by Carl Zeiss Stiftung and Novartis in the second and third spots, respectively.

The increasing healthcare expenditure and the need for cutting-edge technologies to aid the development of novel therapies and diagnostics have fuelled the need for this technology in the healthcare industry. Future prospects that will drive the market mixed reality medical device interfaces include medical education, image-guided treatment, and virtual reality simulation.

To further understand how Cloud is disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing in 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.