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 Innovation in Medical Devices: Neurostimulation therapy.
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, neurostimulation therapy, smart physiotherapy devices, and real-time IR thermographic imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Precision radiotherapy, electric atomisers, and bio-active prosthesis coating are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are bioresorbable stent coating and cryogenic tissue treatment, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry
Neurostimulation therapy is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry
Neurostimulation therapy, also called as spinal cord stimulation therapy, provides pain relief by blocking the pain signals between the spinal cord and the brain. The therapy involves the placement of a fully implantable, reversible system, and once implanted, patients can control their level of stimulation with a handheld device.
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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of neurostimulation therapy.
Key players in neurostimulation therapy – 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 neurostimulation therapy
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in the field of neurostimulation therapy. Some other key patent filers include Omron and Magic Leap.
In terms of application diversity, Apollo Neuroscience leads the pack, followed by Bodyfriend and Keeson Technology. By means of geographic reach, Omron Tateisi Electronics holds the top position, followed by Keeson Technology and Oncomfort in the second and third spots, respectively.
Owing to the continuous innovation of new products/technology, enhancement of existing products, growing ageing population, limited side effects, and the increasing incidence of neurological disorders, the neurostimulators market is expected to grow at a decent rate in the coming future. However, the availability of non-invasive devices that carry out similar functions but have lower risks associated with treatment may act as a threat to this market.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.