The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. 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 digitalization. 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 Environment Sustainability in Medical Devices: Biomedical 3D Printing. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 550,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the medical devices industry, there are 150+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Biomedical 3D printing is a key innovation area in Environment Sustainability
Biomedical 3D printing is the process of creating a 3D replica of products matching the patient’s anatomy, based on their imaging data. Also called additive manufacturing, this technology is preferred over traditional methods where products are created through moulding or carving. Biomedical 3D printing can be used to create objects by placing layers of materials, such as plastics, ceramics, and metal. The manufacturers will be able to make custom objects with the help of magnetic resonance image (MRI) or computer-aided design (CAD) drawings, based on requirements.
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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of biomedical 3D printing.
Key players in biomedical 3D printing – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to biomedical 3D printing
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Becton Dickinson leads the pack, followed by Stryker and Orthopaedic Innovation Centre. By means of geographic reach, Stratasys holds the top position, followed by DWS and Berkshire Hathaway in the second and third spots, respectively.
Biomedical 3D printing technology has paved the way to create customized orthopaedic implants, prosthetics, and dental restorations. The demand for this market will continue to increase given the possibility of the technology being used for teaching purposes and producing 3D organs for transplant.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.