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 gastric stimulation 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

Wireless gastric stimulation devices is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

The gastric electrical stimulation system helps control chronic nausea and vomiting associated with gastroparesis by stimulating the smooth muscles of the lower stomach. A small, battery-powered gastric stimulator is implanted beneath the skin in the lower abdominal region.

In medical examinations on gastroparesis patients, gastric electrical stimulation was found to considerably relieve gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly nausea and vomiting, as well as decrease hospitalisations and medication use, thus improving the patient's quality of life. However, this invasive treatment might result in consequences such as implantation site discomfort, infection, dislodgement, and skin concerns, as well as the danger of device removal.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of wireless gastric stimulation devices.

Key players in wireless gastric stimulation 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 wireless gastric stimulation devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Milux Holding 231 Unlock company profile
Implantica Patent 204 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 31 Unlock company profile
Nano Retina 15 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 12 Unlock company profile
Synergia Medical 11 Unlock company profile
Rainbow Medical 9 Unlock company profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings 9 Unlock company profile
AMS Research 8 Unlock company profile
Provectus Biopharmaceuticals 7 Unlock company profile
PixelOptics 6 Unlock company profile
Nalu Medical 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Milux is one of the leading patent filers in the field of wireless gastric stimulation devices. Some other key patent filers in the field include Implantica Patent, Boston Scientific, and Nano Retina.

In terms of application diversity, Provectus Biopharmaceuticals leads the pack, followed by Nano Retina and Zimmer Biomet. By means of geographic reach, Zimmer Biomet held the top position, followed by Implantica Patent and Pixel Optics in second and third spots, respectively.

The wireless gastric stimulation device outperforms the conventional, big battery-based GES in terms of efficiency and lifespan. The requirement for recurrent procedures for battery replacement is replaced by wireless tiny stimulators. It is possible to implant them using endoscopic operations because of the device's small size. GES is possible with a minimally invasive wireless gadget. This technology has the potential to overcome the constraints of invasive traditional treatments and enhance the use of GES as a therapy option.

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.