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: continuous vitals monitoring. Buy the report here.

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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

Continuous vitals monitoring is a key innovation area in medical devices

Continuous vitals monitoring refers to the continuous and real-time measurement and tracking of essential physiological parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation levels, and temperature. This monitoring is typically performed using wireless and non-invasive technologies, allowing healthcare professionals to remotely and continuously monitor patients' vital signs for early detection of abnormalities or medical emergencies.

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 300+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of continuous vitals monitoring.

Key players in continuous vitals monitoring – 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 continuous vitals monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Abbott Laboratories 428 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development 411 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 390 Unlock Company Profile
DexCom 371 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 300 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 172 Unlock Company Profile
BIONIME 149 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 148 Unlock Company Profile
Senseonics 106 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International 103 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 75 Unlock Company Profile
Nyxoah 70 Unlock Company Profile
I-Sens 69 Unlock Company Profile
VitalConnect 60 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 60 Unlock Company Profile
Terumo 56 Unlock Company Profile
The Alfred Mann Foundation 54 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson 54 Unlock Company Profile
Intuity Medical 54 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm 50 Unlock Company Profile
iRhythm Technologies 47 Unlock Company Profile
LifeSignals 47 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 45 Unlock Company Profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 44 Unlock Company Profile
PHC 43 Unlock Company Profile
W. L. Gore & Associates 43 Unlock Company Profile
Canary Medical 42 Unlock Company Profile
Infineon Technologies 41 Unlock Company Profile
Establishment Labs 41 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Manufacturing 36 Unlock Company Profile
DM Systems 33 Unlock Company Profile
Regional Data Services 33 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies 32 Unlock Company Profile
Nalu Medical 31 Unlock Company Profile
Foundry Innovation & Research 1 30 Unlock Company Profile
Astellas Pharma 30 Unlock Company Profile
Masimo 29 Unlock Company Profile
Metronom Health 27 Unlock Company Profile
PMD Device Solutions 25 Unlock Company Profile
Rhythm Diagnostic Systems 25 Unlock Company Profile
Sotera Wireless 24 Unlock Company Profile
NeuSpera Medical 23 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 23 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 23 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 23 Unlock Company Profile
Endotronix 22 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 21 Unlock Company Profile
MediBeacon 20 Unlock Company Profile
Edwards Lifesciences 20 Unlock Company Profile
Indigo Diabetes 20 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Abbott Laboratories and DEKA Research and Development are two of the leading patent filers in continuous vitals monitoring. Some other key patent filers include Medtronic, DexCom, and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, DEKA Research and Development leads the pack, while Nalu Medical and The Alfred Mann Foundation stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, DEKA Research and Development held the top position, followed by iRhythm Technologies and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory.

The outlook for continuous vitals monitoring is highly promising as advancements in wearable and sensor technologies are expected to provide real-time and comprehensive data in healthcare. Such innovations will transform patient care by enabling early detection, remote monitoring, and personalized treatments, and in turn, will enhance healthcare outcomes in the future.

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

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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.