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: Wearable sleep aid devices.

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

Wearable sleep aid devices is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Wearable sleep aid devices allow users to evaluate and understand their sleep patterns based on an array of parameters such as heart rate, snoring, and breathing disturbances. These devices can be worn by the user while they sleep on various places of the body, most commonly wrist, finger, head, or chest.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of wearable sleep aid devices.

Key players in wearable sleep aid 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 wearable sleep aid devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 61 Unlock company profile
Sana Health 34 Unlock company profile
Ebb Therapeutics 21 Unlock company profile
Advanced Brain Monitoring 19 Unlock company profile
Bose 17 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 13 Unlock company profile
Bryte Labs 12 Unlock company profile
ResMed 11 Unlock company profile
Smileyscope 11 Unlock company profile
Team Turquoise 10 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 10 Unlock company profile
Murata Manufacturing 7 Unlock company profile
Dreem 7 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 6 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 6 Unlock company profile
Samvardhana Motherson International 6 Unlock company profile
Motion Therapeutics 6 Unlock company profile
mediVR 5 Unlock company profile
Hi 5 Unlock company profile
Raytheon Technologies 5 Unlock company profile
Starkey Hearing Technologies 5 Unlock company profile
ASAN Foundation 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in the field of wearable sleep aid devices. Some other key patent filers in the field include Sana Health, Ebb Therapeutics and Advanced Brain Monitoring.

In terms of application diversity, mediVR leads the pack, followed by Raytheon Technologies and Advanced Brain Monitoring. By means of geographic reach, Panasonic held the top position, followed by Smileyscope and Bryte Labs in second and third spots, respectively.

The rising prevalence of sleeping disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, and parasomnia, is the driving factor for the sleep aid devices market. Furthermore, modern wearable sleep aid devices that come with fitness tracking features are becoming the preferred choice for many people owing to their changing preferences in lifestyle and work requirements.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.


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.