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: intra-oral 3D imaging. Buy the report here.
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
Intra-oral 3D imaging is a key innovation area in medical devices
Intra-oral 3D imaging refers to the use of specialized equipment and techniques to produce full, three-dimensional images of a patient's dentition, allowing for more accurate and efficient dental treatments.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of intra-oral 3D imaging.
Key players in intra-oral 3D imaging – 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 intra-oral 3D imaging
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, PLAQLESS leads the pack, while GreenMark Biomedical and Brain Navi Biotechnology stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach ULab Systems held the top position, followed by PLAQLESS and Envista.
The demand for intra-oral 3D imaging is expected to increase as 3D impressions will allow for highly accurate treatment, reducing the potential errors associated with conventional imaging, leading to better treatment outcomes, and increased patient satisfaction. By providing more precise and detailed images of the oral anatomy than traditional 2D X-ray, intraoral 3D imaging will make it much easier to perform customizable dental procedures.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.