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 nerve stimulation devices. 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 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 nerve stimulation devices is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Remote nerve stimulation devices consist of stimulation leads, pulse generator, and a wireless remote, controlled by a trained specialist. These devices allow the delivery of electric charge to the nervous tissue and are used to restore functions lost due to neurologic injuries. Remote nerve stimulation devices have replaced conventional nerve stimulation devices where negative effects of neuromodulation could not be resolved remotely and the process was also time-consuming. Nerve stimulation devices are used for assisting with movement disorders, epilepsy, chronic pain, and Parkinson’s disease.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of remote nerve stimulation devices.

Key players in remote nerve stimulation devices – 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 nerve stimulation devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Magic Leap 115 Unlock company profile
Aliphcom 63 Unlock company profile
Liminal Sciences 44 Unlock company profile
Delos Living 43 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 38 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 30 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 21 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 18 Unlock company profile
Oncomfort 17 Unlock company profile
Apollo Neuroscience 11 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 11 Unlock company profile
Fresenius 11 Unlock company profile
Oracle 11 Unlock company profile
LG 10 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco 9 Unlock company profile
Nokia 9 Unlock company profile
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare 9 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 9 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 8 Unlock company profile
Bodyfriend 8 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 8 Unlock company profile
Bose 8 Unlock company profile
Intel 8 Unlock company profile
Akili 7 Unlock company profile
Dessintey 7 Unlock company profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 7 Unlock company profile
Nocira 7 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Morphy 7 Unlock company profile
Somnology 7 Unlock company profile
Easterseals Bay Area 6 Unlock company profile
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary 6 Unlock company profile
Shiseido 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Magic Leap is one of the leading patent filers in the field of remote nerve stimulation devices. Some other key patent filers in the field include Aliphcom and Liminal Sciences.

In terms of application diversity, Magic Leap leads the pack, followed by Aliphcom and Massachusetts General Hospital. By means of geographic reach, Liminal Sciences holds the top position, followed by British American Tobacco and Oncomfort in second and third spots, respectively.

Remote nerve stimulation devices allow for remote monitoring and programming, addressing a wide variety of neurological disorders. However, with internet hijacking, the devices can be hijacked and can be switched off. With technological advancements reducing the chances of device hijacking, nerve stimulation devices can provide real-time therapist guidance, thus improving quality care for 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.