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: Wireless chargeable implants.

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

Wireless chargeable implants is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

A wireless chargeable implant is a medical device that, after being implanted inside the body to distribute therapeutic drugs, monitor health remotely, and support bodily processes, draws energy from its environment to recharge itself. These devices use radio-frequency fields, acoustic waves, light, and infrared radiation as energy sources. These devices can replace wired implants or replaceable batteries as they are less prone to catheterised infections and motion-generation bio signal spikes.

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 wireless chargeable implants.

Key players in wireless chargeable implants – 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 wireless chargeable implants

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 46 Unlock company profile
Hello 44 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 40 Unlock company profile
NeuSpera Medical 39 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 38 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 36 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 25 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 22 Unlock company profile
Sun Star 19 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 19 Unlock company profile
Milux Holding 19 Unlock company profile
Astellas Pharma 17 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 15 Unlock company profile
Vectorious Medical Technologies 15 Unlock company profile
Olympus 15 Unlock company profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 13 Unlock company profile
Synergia Medical 11 Unlock company profile
Implantica Patent 11 Unlock company profile
WS Audiology 9 Unlock company profile
Murata Manufacturing 7 Unlock company profile
Rainbow Medical 7 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 7 Unlock company profile
Alcon 6 Unlock company profile
Sanofi 5 Unlock company profile
Infineon Technologies 5 Unlock company profile
Ubiquity Biomedical 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson & Johnson and Hello are two of the leading patent filers in the market for wireless chargeable implants. Some other leading patent filers include Boston Scientific, NeuSpera Medical, Samsung Group, and Medtronic.

In terms of application diversity, Rainbow Medical leads the pack, followed by Alcon and Boston Scientific. By means of geographic reach, WS Audiology held the top position, followed by Astellas Pharma and Huawei in the second and third spots, respectively.

Wireless chargeable implants are highly effective medical devices capable of providing a fast, convenient and safe charging experience. Reduced size and power consumption, improved bandwidth, and remote charging capability of these devices have increasingly improved their flexibility, sensitivity, and efficiency in diagnostic, remote monitoring, and drug delivery functions.

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.