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 a growing importance in technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G, and digitalization. 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: Medical Imaging Informatics. Buy 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 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 

Medical imaging informatics is a key innovation area in Internet of Things 

Medical imaging informatics is the process of delivering medical imaging services within a healthcare network with the help of information technology. It replaces the conventional methods of imaging as it is easy to perform, provides faster results, and is affordable. 

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of medical imaging informatics. 

Key players in medical imaging informatics – 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 medical imaging informatics

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Heartflow 450 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 177 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 143 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 79 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 74 Unlock Company Profile
CathWorks 73 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 56 Unlock Company Profile
Applied Lifesciences & Systems 53 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 45 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 44 Unlock Company Profile
EBM 42 Unlock Company Profile
Cerebrotech Medical Systems 38 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 37 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 35 Unlock Company Profile
Synaptive Medical 35 Unlock Company Profile
Podimetrics 33 Unlock Company Profile
Venus Concept 32 Unlock Company Profile
Elekta 30 Unlock Company Profile
Lifetrack Medical Systems 29 Unlock Company Profile
Heuron 28 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 24 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 23 Unlock Company Profile
Align Technology 21 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 21 Unlock Company Profile
LipoScience (formerly LipoMed) 20 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 19 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Medical Systems 18 Unlock Company Profile
CorVista Health 17 Unlock Company Profile
NuraLogix 17 Unlock Company Profile
Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris 16 Unlock Company Profile
Konica Minolta 16 Unlock Company Profile
Estee Lauder 15 Unlock Company Profile
Myocardial Solutions 14 Unlock Company Profile
Circle Cardiovascular Imaging 14 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 14 Unlock Company Profile
Dental Monitoring 13 Unlock Company Profile
Surgical Information Sciences 13 Unlock Company Profile
BrainLAB 12 Unlock Company Profile
Fundacion para la Investigacion Biomedica del Hospital Gregorio Maranon 12 Unlock Company Profile
Digimarc 12 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 12 Unlock Company Profile
LVIS 11 Unlock Company Profile
UCB 11 Unlock Company Profile
SymphonyAI Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Terumo 11 Unlock Company Profile
Covanos 10 Unlock Company Profile
Seno Medical Instruments 10 Unlock Company Profile
Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services 10 Unlock Company Profile
Picterus 10 Unlock Company Profile
Wuxi Hisky Medical Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Heartflow is one of the leading patent filers in the field of medical imaging informatics. Some other key patent filers in the field include Siemens and Koninklijke Philips

In terms of application diversity, Applied Lifesciences & Systems leads the pack, followed by Elekta and LVIS. By means of geographic reach, UCB holds the top position, followed by Applied Lifesciences & Systems and LVIS in the second and third spots, respectively.  

Medical imaging informatics has had applications in image-guided therapy, discovering biomarkers for imaging, and diagnostic radiology for the past few decades. New approaches involving AI and machine-learning solutions that help radiologists perform various image analysis tasks, such as image enhancement, segmentation, and detection of abnormalities will be driving factors for this market in the future. This will lead to a more comprehensive and precise diagnosis, prompt prognosis, and efficient treatment planning. 

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.