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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 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: Remote health monitoring networks. 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

Remote health monitoring networks is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) networks are used to send critical patient data to the proximate healthcare facility with very low end‐to‐end latency. To perform this process, patients' statistics are delivered initially from Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN) to the patient’s mobile phone by using ISM band. From there, contemporary networks make use of a single wireless network alone to send the patient’s data to the closest healthcare facility.

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 150+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of remote health monitoring networks.

Key players in remote health monitoring networks – 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 remote health monitoring networks

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Baxter International 282 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 175 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 165 Unlock Company Profile
DexCom 164 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development 137 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 137 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 120 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 108 Unlock Company Profile
Enlitic 97 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 94 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 92 Unlock Company Profile
Mallinckrodt 89 Unlock Company Profile
FedEx 85 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 80 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 76 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 69 Unlock Company Profile
Nintendo 65 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 65 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 65 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 56 Unlock Company Profile
Oracle 52 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 51 Unlock Company Profile
Hologic 50 Unlock Company Profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 49 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 44 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei 38 Unlock Company Profile
PHC Holdings 34 Unlock Company Profile
E. Merck 34 Unlock Company Profile
Konica Minolta 34 Unlock Company Profile
MEPS Real-Time 33 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 33 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 33 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 32 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 30 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 30 Unlock Company Profile
HealthTap 29 Unlock Company Profile
UnitedHealth Group 28 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 26 Unlock Company Profile
B. Braun Melsungen 24 Unlock Company Profile
Laboratory Corp of America Holdings 23 Unlock Company Profile
ICU Medical 22 Unlock Company Profile 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mortara Instrument 22 Unlock Company Profile
MyFiziq 21 Unlock Company Profile
Amer Sports 21 Unlock Company Profile
adidas 20 Unlock Company Profile
Trice Imaging 20 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 20 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 18 Unlock Company Profile
K4Connect 18 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Baxter International is one of the leading patent filers in the field of remote health monitoring networks. Some other key patent filers in the field include Koninklijke Philips and Johnson & Johnson.

In terms of application diversity, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries leads the pack, followed by DEKA Research and Development and Amgen. By means of geographic reach, Mallinckrodt holds the top position, followed by Bayer and E. Merck in second and third spots, respectively.

Health monitoring at home and in remote places has added a new dimension to the complexity of receiving regular check-ups and can improve patients' quality of life. With internet reaching remote places, the adoption of this service will increase in the future as it would allow a considerable reduction in healthcare expenditures by reducing physician and patient trips to hospitals, operational expenses of healthcare facilities, in-person visit expenses, and staff engagement.

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.