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, 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 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in medical: medical ERS. 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, programmable infusion devices, wearable sleep assistance devices, and context-aware patient monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Remote dialysis monitoring, NFC implants, and medical ERS are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is body area network (BAN), which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the medical devices industry
Medical emergency response systems is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Personal emergency response systems (PERS), also known as medical emergency response systems, allow a user to summon medical assistance in an emergency at the press of a button. PERS has three parts, a tiny radio transmitter, a console that connects to the phone, and an emergency response center that monitors calls. Transmitters are small, battery-powered devices that can be worn around the neck, on a wristband, on a belt, or can be placed in a pocket. In case of assistance, clicking a button on the transmitter sends a signal to the console. The console contacts one or more emergency phone numbers automatically.
Most PERS are set to call an emergency response center. The center attempts to determine the nature of the emergency and may also go through the medical history of the individual to determine who should be alerted.
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 170+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of medical emergency response systems.
Key players in medical emergency response systems – 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 medical emergency response systems
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Baxter International Inc||462||Unlock Company Profile|
|Koninklijke Philips NV||210||Unlock Company Profile|
|DexCom Inc||86||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alphabet Inc||75||Unlock Company Profile|
|ARC Devices Ltd.||64||Unlock Company Profile|
|Stryker Corp||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Oracle Corp||53||Unlock Company Profile|
|Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd||52||Unlock Company Profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beta Bionics Inc||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|ResMed Inc||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Electric Co||40||Unlock Company Profile|
|F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|FitStar Labs, Inc.||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Masimo Corp||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|Konica Minolta Inc||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dragerwerk AG & Co KGaA||32||Unlock Company Profile|
|VSP Vision||31||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines Corp||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Asahi Kasei Corp||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|3M Co||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Paramount Bed Co Ltd||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group Corp||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Smith & Nephew Plc||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Boston Scientific Corp||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|DM Systems, Inc.||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nihon Kohden Corp||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|ICU Medical Inc||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ford Motor Co||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|C Rafin & Co Pty Ltd||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co KGaA||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Empire AB||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Owlet Baby Care Inc||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Becton Dickinson and Co||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honeywell International Inc||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Abbott Laboratories||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Harmonize Inc||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Qualcomm Inc||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fujifilm Holdings Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|LiveCare Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|NEC Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|LG Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|RistCall LLC||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Colan Totte Co Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Teijin Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Keeson Technology Corp Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Umano Medical Inc||9||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Baxter International and Koninklijke Philips are two of the leading patent filers in medical emergency response systems. Some other leading patent filers include DexCom, Alphabet, ARC DevicesStryker, and Oracle.
In terms of application diversity, DM Systems leads the pack, followed by ARC Devices and FitStar Labs. With regards to geographic reach, ARC Devices holds the top position, followed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and VSP Vision in second and third positions, respectively.
PERS have been around a long time, whereas many telecare systems are still in it is infancy. Many users find PERS to be simple to use, which allows end users to live freely by offering assistance and safety when required, giving end users an active part in the care practice. This is expected to be a key driver in this market in the short term until telecare systems become more commonplace. When that happens, there still will be a place for PERS as a data sensor to collect for the telehealth system, acting in tandem to support patients.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.