The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by an 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 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: Patch type monitors.

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

Patch type monitors is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Patch-type monitors are tiny, water-resistant, and lightweight devices for capturing and measuring heart rhythms. The patches are worn on the chest continuously for the prescribed duration and subsequently returned to the physicians to review the results. They enable easy application, data analysis, review and interpretation.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of patch-type monitors.

Key players in patch-type monitors – 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 patch-type monitors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
DEKA Research and Development 246 Unlock company profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 108 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 105 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 57 Unlock company profile
YourBio Health 35 Unlock company profile
ResMed 29 Unlock company profile
Bose 23 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 20 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 16 Unlock company profile
DexCom 15 Unlock company profile
Fresenius 14 Unlock company profile
Labrador Diagnostics 13 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 12 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 10 Unlock company profile
Terumo 9 Unlock company profile
Omron 8 Unlock company profile
Pneuma Respiratory 7 Unlock company profile
Meru Health 7 Unlock company profile
Yamaha 7 Unlock company profile
Morphy 7 Unlock company profile
Biolinq 6 Unlock company profile
Withings 6 Unlock company profile
Beijing Aeonmed 6 Unlock company profile
Heitkamp & Thumann 5 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 5 Unlock company profile
Air Liquide 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

DEKA Research and Development is one of the leading patent filers in the field of patch-type monitors. Some other leading patent filers include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Medtronic.

In terms of application diversity, Hitachi leads the pack, followed by ResMed and Yamaha. By means of geographic reach, Medtronic holds the top position, followed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Qualcomm in the second and third spots, respectively.

Advancements in wearable cardiovascular devices are being made to make them smaller, more accurate, less cumbersome, and more friendly. The devices are increasingly being adopted as they help in better clinical decision-making.

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.