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The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is 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 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in medical: incontinence monitoring sensorsBuy 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 stabilizing 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.

30+ 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 155,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, programmable infusion devices, wearable sleep assistance devices, and context-aware patient monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Remote dialysis monitoring, NFC implants, and medical ERS are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is body area network (BAN), which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the medical devices industry

Urinary incontinence detection sensors is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Urinary incontinence detection sensors are wireless insertable pressure sensors that can be used to detect and treat urinary incontinence in women. They have the potential to replace conventional methods that require patients to undergo several tests to monitor urinary incontinence which may cause infections and inconvenience.

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 urinary incontinence detection sensors.

Key players in urinary incontinence detection sensors – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to urinary incontinence detection sensors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Baxter International Inc 125 Unlock Company Profile
Essity AB 53 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 49 Unlock Company Profile
Ontex Group NV 43 Unlock Company Profile
Parasol Medical, LLC 35 Unlock Company Profile
Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget 31 Unlock Company Profile
The Procter & Gamble Co 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kimberly-Clark Corp 19 Unlock Company Profile
Pixie Scientific LLC 18 Unlock Company Profile
Fred Bergman Healthcare Pty Ltd 17 Unlock Company Profile
Medline Industries Inc 15 Unlock Company Profile
Delta-Fly Pharma Inc 10 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet Inc 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore 9 Unlock Company Profile
NXP Semiconductors NV 6 Unlock Company Profile
Reifenhauser Inc. 6 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic Plc 5 Unlock Company Profile
Cardinal Health Inc 5 Unlock Company Profile
LifeSense Group BV 5 Unlock Company Profile
Newtonoid Technologies, L.L.C. 4 Unlock Company Profile
Reifenhaeuser Gmbh & Co Kg Maschinenfabrik 3 Unlock Company Profile
Empire Technologies 3 Unlock Company Profile
Biolink Systems LLC 2 Unlock Company Profile
IDing Medical Equipment Co Ltd 2 Unlock Company Profile
Fit Assist Medical Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
BioSerenity SAS 2 Unlock Company Profile
Paper Excellence 2 Unlock Company Profile
Medline Industries LP. 2 Unlock Company Profile
Gi Bionics LLC 1 Unlock Company Profile
Em Medical LLC 1 Unlock Company Profile
Terrasem Co.,Ltd. 1 Unlock Company Profile
Genextra Spa 1 Unlock Company Profile
Vigilan Incorporated 1 Unlock Company Profile
Xtrava Inc 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Baxter International and Essity are two of the leading patent filers in the field of urinary incontinence detection sensors. Some other key patent filers in the field include Svenska Cellulosa (SCA) and Smith & Nephew.

In terms of application diversity, Delta-Fly Pharma leads the pack, followed by Deep Science and Undercover Colors. By geographic reach, Ontex Group holds the top position, followed by DM Systems and Parasol Medical in second and third spots, respectively.

One of the prospects of the field involves developing a smartphone application to upload patient data into an encrypted cloud database that will allow physicians to easily recommend treatment options even from a remote location without losing the focus on maintaining accuracy, safety, and avoiding discomfort.

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.