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The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, as well as a 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: ingestible sensorsBuy 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, neuromodulation implants, shapeable guide catheters, and biopotential signal monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Fall detection monitoring, ingestible sensors, and biofeedback wearables are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are CPR assistance devices and bioabsorbable coated implants, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry

Indigestible sensors is a key innovation area in medical devices

Ingestible sensors are small, capsuled devices capable of gathering data about the state of gastrointestinal health and associated disorders upon consumption. Images, core temperature values, pH measurements, pressure readings, and chemical components like enzymes, hormones, and metabolites can be captured and sent over the internet to remote monitoring systems. These devices are replacing standard health monitoring devices as they run on less power, while being non-invasive, highly sensitive, reliable, and selective.

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 indigestible sensors.

Key players in indigestible sensors – 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 ingestible sensors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Biora Therapeutics Inc 104 Unlock Company Profile
Rani Therapeutics Holdings Inc 94 Unlock Company Profile
Vibrant Ltd 43 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 33 Unlock Company Profile
Dare Bioscience Inc 28 Unlock Company Profile
InCube Labs LLC 23 Unlock Company Profile
Pop Test Abuse Deterrent Technology LLC 19 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines Corp 19 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus Corp 18 Unlock Company Profile
Medimetrics Personalized Drug Delivery BV 17 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips NV 16 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management LLC 16 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 15 Unlock Company Profile
EarLens Corp 14 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group Corp 12 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker Corp 12 Unlock Company Profile
West View Research, LLC 11 Unlock Company Profile
The Corporation For Penn State 9 Unlock Company Profile
Celero Systems Inc 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ptt Holding Aps 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hochschule offenburg 7 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka Holdings Co Ltd 7 Unlock Company Profile
Rock West Medical Devices LLC 6 Unlock Company Profile
Embracer Group AB 6 Unlock Company Profile
Rainbow Medical Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
Kibur Medical, Inc. 5 Unlock Company Profile
Bionaut Labs Inc 5 Unlock Company Profile
Ankon Medical Technologies Co Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
NinePoint Medical Inc 5 Unlock Company Profile
Check-Cap Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
Insulet Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Biograil ApS 5 Unlock Company Profile
Ligalli BV 4 Unlock Company Profile
Veloce Corp 3 Unlock Company Profile
EtectRx Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
Picolife Technologies 3 Unlock Company Profile
Pop Test LLC 2 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic Plc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Medibotics LLC 2 Unlock Company Profile
Micropharma Ltd 2 Unlock Company Profile
Schilling 2 Unlock Company Profile
Allurion Technologies, Inc. 1 Unlock Company Profile
Clear Creek Bio Inc 1 Unlock Company Profile
Melcap system Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile
HP Inc 1 Unlock Company Profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Biora Therapeutics is the leading patent filer in the indigestible sensors market. Some other leading patent filers include Rani Therapeutics, Vibrant, and Novo Nordisk Foundation.

In terms of application diversity, PTT leads the pack, followed by Clear Creek Bio and Corporation For Penn State. By means of geographic reach, Rani Therapeutics holds the top position, followed by Pop Test Abuse Deterrent Technology and EarLens in second and third spots, respectively.

The ingestible sensors market is expected to grow throughout the forecast period, due to an increase in population and incidence of gastrointestinal disorders. Additionally, a growing preference for minimally invasive procedures among patients and doctors is also contributing to the growth of this market.

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.