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: Smart Wireless Physiological Sensors.
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
Smart wireless physiological sensors are a key emerging innovation area in Internet of Things
Smart wireless physiological sensors aid in tracking vital indicators, such as heart/respiration rate, blood pressure, and saturation levels. These wireless devices are ideal for both hospital and remote patient monitoring. These devices are generally non-invasive and are found in a wearable such as watch, or patients’ clothing.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart wireless physiological sensors.
Key players in smart wireless physiological sensors – 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 smart wireless physiological sensors
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
DexCom is one of the leading patent filers in the market for smart wireless physiological sensors. Some other leading patent filers include Heartflow and Valencell.
In terms of application diversity, NIKE leads the pack, followed by T2 Biosystems and Psomagen. By means of geographic reach, Teijin holds the top position, followed by Carl Data Solutions and Everist Genomics in the second and third spots, respectively.
Smart wireless physiological sensors cater to long-term monitoring of an individual's health. Factors such as technological advancements in healthcare monitoring, affordability, and increasing awareness for health and fitness, are boosting wearable wireless sensor usage among individuals, which will further drive the market.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.