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, 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 Innovation in Medical Devices: Interactive nutrition monitoring and management.

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

Interactive nutrition monitoring and management is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Interactive nutrition monitoring and management systems assess an individual’s nutritional status to devise and monitor a specialized therapy plan that establishes the person’s nutritional targets. It includes applications that monitor, measure and evaluate any alterations in the nutrition care indicators used as evidence by practitioners to track the impact of nutrition intervention on a patient’s health condition.

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 interactive nutrition monitoring and management.

Key players in interactive nutrition monitoring and management – 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 interactive nutrition monitoring and management

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
NIKE 112 Unlock company profile
Smith & Nephew 98 Unlock company profile
Aliphcom 85 Unlock company profile
Stryker 76 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 68 Unlock company profile
Asahi Kasei 50 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 42 Unlock company profile
adidas 35 Unlock company profile
IntraPace 23 Unlock company profile
DexCom 22 Unlock company profile
Omron 16 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 14 Unlock company profile
MAD Apparel 13 Unlock company profile
Delos Living 11 Unlock company profile
Polar Electro 10 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 10 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 10 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 9 Unlock company profile
AB Mando 9 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 8 Unlock company profile
CureApp 8 Unlock company profile
Siemens 8 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 8 Unlock company profile
S-Alpha Therapeutics 7 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Intel 7 Unlock company profile
Healthcare Technologies and Methods 6 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 6 Unlock company profile
Intuity Medical 6 Unlock company profile
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary 6 Unlock company profile
Fresenius 5 Unlock company profile
Pear Sports 5 Unlock company profile
PixArt Imaging 5 Unlock company profile
DQPN 5 Unlock company profile
RoundGlass 5 Unlock company profile
Sharp 5 Unlock company profile
Health Hero Network 5 Unlock company profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

NIKE is one of the leading patent filers in the field of interactive nutrition monitoring and management. Some other key patent filers in the field include Smith & Nephew and Aliphcom.

In terms of application diversity, MAD Apparel leads the pack, followed by Stryker and Smith & Nephew. By means of geographic reach, Stryker holds the top position, followed by Johnson & Johnson and Smith & Nephew in the second and third spots, respectively.

With individuals becoming more health and diet conscious, the demand for interactive nutrition monitoring and management is increasing. These tools will help in developing a better understanding of various diseases, combat risk factors and improve an individual’s quality of life by providing personalized plans.

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.