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 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 Internet of Things in Medical Devices: Head-mounted surgical cameras.

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, ingestible sensors, wireless gastric stimulation devices, and remote nerve stimulation devices are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Dosage monitoring inhalators, programmable infusion pumps, and athletic monitoring sensors are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are blood glucose sensors and medical emergency response systems, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the medical devices industry

Head-mounted surgical cameras is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

A head-mounted surgical camera is a hands-free device that allows surgeons to visualise and record surgeries, thereby creating a computerised archive. These videos are useful for educational purposes. These head-mounted cameras are expected to replace conventional camera types such as camcorders, as they are hands-free, lightweight and do not interfere with the first person’s view.

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 head-mounted surgical cameras.

Key players in head-mounted surgical cameras – 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 head-mounted surgical cameras

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 495 Unlock company profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 245 Unlock company profile
AptarGroup 228 Unlock company profile
GSK 109 Unlock company profile
Recipharm 81 Unlock company profile
Pneuma Respiratory 65 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 55 Unlock company profile
MicroBase Technology 52 Unlock company profile
MannKind 44 Unlock company profile
Charoen Pokphand Group 42 Unlock company profile
Metall Zug 42 Unlock company profile
Chiesi Farmaceutici 38 Unlock company profile
Syqe Medical 33 Unlock company profile
Laboratoires Thea 33 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 29 Unlock company profile
ResMed 26 Unlock company profile
Adherium 22 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco 21 Unlock company profile
Shl Medical 18 Unlock company profile
Teleflex 18 Unlock company profile
Trudell Medical International 15 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 13 Unlock company profile
Sulzer 12 Unlock company profile
Gearbox 12 Unlock company profile
Cipla 11 Unlock company profile
Heitkamp & Thumann 11 Unlock company profile
Teleflex Medical 10 Unlock company profile
iDTx Systems 10 Unlock company profile
Convexity Scientific 10 Unlock company profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 10 Unlock company profile
GoFire 9 Unlock company profile
Proveris Scientific 9 Unlock company profile
Mystic Pharmaceuticals 9 Unlock company profile
Pneumoflex Systems 8 Unlock company profile
Daikyo Seiko 8 Unlock company profile
Nemera La Verpilliere 7 Unlock company profile
Novartis 7 Unlock company profile
Inhalation Sciences Sweden 7 Unlock company profile
E. Merck 7 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 6 Unlock company profile
Materialise 6 Unlock company profile
Amiko Digital Health 6 Unlock company profile
Nipro 6 Unlock company profile
Hapella 6 Unlock company profile
Francisco Partners Management 6 Unlock company profile
SipNose 5 Unlock company profile
THORASYS Thoracic Medical Systems 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Smith & Nephew is one of the leading patent filers in the field of head-mounted surgical cameras. Some other key patent filers in the field include Stryker, Medtronic, Magic Leap, and Sony Group.

In terms of application diversity, Radtec Medical Devices leads the pack, followed by Sony Group and Osterhout Group. By means of geographic reach, Stryker held the top position, followed by Smith & Nephew and Alcon in second and third spots, respectively.

The major factors driving the growth of the head-mounted surgical cameras market include increased adoption and development of integrated and hybrid operating rooms, along with the elevated significance of computerised archival systems. With varied possible applications of surgical procedure recordings from these cameras for review, training, education, assessment, and legal purposes, several product advancements can be witnessed in the foreseeable future.

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.