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 of 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: Sensor assisted surgical care.
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
Sensor assisted surgical care is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Sensors are widely used in robot-assisted surgeries to analyse and monitor a varying array of parameters such as position tracking, the force being applied on a patient by an instrument, and motion control. Sensors used in surgical care include tactile force sensors, gyroscopes, bubble sensors, accelerometers, torque sensors, occlusion sensors, haptic sensors, and others. With their noteworthy accuracy and reliability, sensor-assisted surgical care technology is gradually replacing the conventional methods of tactile feedback and visual assessment.
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 110+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of sensor assisted surgical care.
Key players in sensor assisted surgical care – 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 sensor-assisted surgical care
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in the market for sensor-assisted surgical care. Some other key patent filers in the field include Koninklijke Philips, Abbott Laboratories, and Medtronic.
In terms of application diversity, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries leads the pack, followed by Toyota Motor and Life Corp. By means of geographic reach, Minerva Surgical held the top position, followed by Medinol and Massachusetts General Hospital in the second and third spots, respectively.
The last few years have seen a paradigm shift in robot-assisted surgeries with the advent and uptake of sensors. This technology not only delivers real-time data, but also enhances and optimises procedural efficiency, thereby reducing surgical costs and improving surgeons’ performance, and patient outcomes.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.