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 ERSBuy 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, 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.

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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.