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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 of 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: neurostimulation devicesBuy 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

Neurostimulation devices is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

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 320+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of neurostimulation devices.

Key players in neurostimulation devices – 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 neurostimulation therapy

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips NV 467 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap Inc 161 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Corp 147 Unlock Company Profile
Bose Corp 103 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic Holdings Corp 82 Unlock Company Profile
ResMed Inc 78 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 76 Unlock Company Profile
Forschungszentrum Julich GmbH 55 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics Holding Co Ltd 43 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group Corp 37 Unlock Company Profile
Eight Sleep Inc 37 Unlock Company Profile
Bryte Labs 36 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics Co 35 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors Co 31 Unlock Company Profile
Cognito Therapeutics Inc 31 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Brain Monitoring Inc 28 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding Co Ltd 28 Unlock Company Profile
Neuroenhancement Lab LLC 28 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor Corp 27 Unlock Company Profile
Yamaha Corp 26 Unlock Company Profile
Daikin Industries Ltd 26 Unlock Company Profile
LG Corp 25 Unlock Company Profile
Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co KGaA 24 Unlock Company Profile
Xiant Technologies Inc 22 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia Corp 22 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Co 21 Unlock Company Profile
Sleep Number Corp 20 Unlock Company Profile
Akili Inc 20 Unlock Company Profile
Aliphcom 20 Unlock Company Profile
InteraXon Inc. 20 Unlock Company Profile
Bodyfriend Co.,Ltd. 19 Unlock Company Profile
MR Innovation Co., Ltd. 18 Unlock Company Profile
Kia Corp 18 Unlock Company Profile
Apollo Neuroscience Inc 18 Unlock Company Profile
Dymedix Corporation 18 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines Corp 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sana Health Inc 17 Unlock Company Profile
TS Tech Co Ltd 16 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management LLC 16 Unlock Company Profile
S-Alpha Therapeutics Inc 16 Unlock Company Profile
Happiest Baby Inc 15 Unlock Company Profile
Intel Corp 14 Unlock Company Profile
Soniphi LLC 14 Unlock Company Profile
Withings SA 14 Unlock Company Profile
Razer Inc 14 Unlock Company Profile
Dreem 13 Unlock Company Profile
Sleepme Inc 13 Unlock Company Profile
Marico Ltd 13 Unlock Company Profile
Smileyscope Pty Ltd 13 Unlock Company Profile
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is the leading patent filer in the field of neurostimulation devices. Some other key patent filers include Magic Leap, Omron, and Bose.

In terms of application diversity, Magic Leap leads the pack, followed by S-Alpha Therapeutics and Aliphcom. By geographic reach, Omron holds the top position, followed by Magic Leap and Xiant Technologies.

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.

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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.