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 the growing importance of technologies, such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalization. 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: Oculography instruments.

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

Oculography instruments is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Video oculography (VOG) is a recording practice that gathers quantitative data on eye movement about where, how, and in which order the observer is looking. It is a non-invasive method performed using a head-mounted mask equipped with a camera to measure information on velocity, accuracy, directional and positional error, and amplitude during movement in both eyes. VOG is replacing electrooculography (EOG) as it can track vertical, horizontal, and torsional position elements during eye movement and reduce artefacts produced during eye blinks.

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

Key players in oculography instruments – 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 oculography instruments

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Magic Leap 228 Unlock company profile
Tobii 107 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 101 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 71 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 64 Unlock company profile
Apple 59 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 35 Unlock company profile
Jgb Collateral 32 Unlock company profile
Meta Platforms 31 Unlock company profile
Lumus 30 Unlock company profile
Beijing Zhigu Rui Tuo Tech 29 Unlock company profile
EssilorLuxottica 23 Unlock company profile
Vizzario 18 Unlock company profile
Intuitive Surgical 16 Unlock company profile
Xiaomi 15 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 12 Unlock company profile
Thales 10 Unlock company profile
NovaSight 10 Unlock company profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 9 Unlock company profile
eyeBrain Medical 9 Unlock company profile
Neuro Kinetics 9 Unlock company profile
Alcon 8 Unlock company profile
Eyefree Assisting Communication 8 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 8 Unlock company profile
Denso 8 Unlock company profile
FOVE- 8 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 7 Unlock company profile
Qd Laser 7 Unlock company profile
ArcSoft 7 Unlock company profile
GN Otometrics 7 Unlock company profile
Pixium Vision 6 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 6 Unlock company profile
Legend Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Honeywell International 6 Unlock company profile
eSight 6 Unlock company profile
Quanta Computer 6 Unlock company profile
MindMaze 6 Unlock company profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Magic Leap and Tobii AB are two of the leading patent filers in the oculography instruments market. Some other leading patent filers include Microsoft, Alphabet and Sony Group.  

In terms of application diversity, Xiaomi leads the pack, followed by International Business Machines (IBM) and ArcSoft. By means of geographic reach, Pixium Vision holds the top position, followed by Eyefree Assisting Communication and Apple in the second and third spots, respectively.

The advancement of technology and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into VOG will alter the way neurological and ophthalmological conditions are monitored and managed. Efforts should be made to develop affordable higher frame-rate systems.

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.