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 in 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: Orthodontic imaging system. Buy 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 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

Orthodontic imaging system is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Orthodontic imaging systems are important diagnostic tools that allow orthodontists to view internal tooth anatomy. Orthodontic records are an important part of orthodontic therapy as they are required not only for diagnosis and treatment planning, but also for case follow-ups, and assessing treatment outcomes.

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 orthodontic imaging system.

Key players in orthodontic imaging system – 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 orthodontic imaging system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Align Technology 194 Unlock Company Profile
Dental Monitoring 102 Unlock Company Profile
Dentsply Sirona 46 Unlock Company Profile
Carestream Dental Technology Topco 38 Unlock Company Profile
SmileDirectClub 25 Unlock Company Profile
Oxilio 21 Unlock Company Profile
ULab Systems 15 Unlock Company Profile
Medit 13 Unlock Company Profile
3M 10 Unlock Company Profile
Osstem Implant 8 Unlock Company Profile
Ivoclar Vivadent 7 Unlock Company Profile
Onex 7 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 6 Unlock Company Profile
Wuxi EA Medical Instruments Technologies 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cvstom (Uniform Teeth) 5 Unlock Company Profile
Straumann Holding 5 Unlock Company Profile
Procter & Gamble 5 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Align Technology is the leading patent filer in orthodontic imaging systems market. Some other leading patent filers include Dental Monitoring, Dentsply Sirona and Carestream Dental Technology.

In terms of application diversity, Align Technology leads, followed by Koninklijke Philips and Danaher. With regards to geographic reach, Dentsply Sirona leads, followed by ULab Systems and Medit.

Orthodontic imaging system methods are quite beneficial in everyday orthodontic practice. These procedures improve treatment possibilities by allowing for more thorough diagnostic information on specific conditions. Overall, as 3D imaging techniques become more common, chair time for full orthodontic records, record loss, and storage issues will be decreased, and multidisciplinary communication will improve. While evidence-based standards for 3D imaging are still necessary to integrate it into the regular orthodontic record collection phase, the future of 3D imaging gives physicians dynamic 4D virtual patient models to evaluate functional recovery following treatment.

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.