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 in 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 Innovation in medical: precision radiotherapy. Buy the report here.
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, neuromodulation implants, shapeable guide catheters, and biopotential signal monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Fall detection monitoring, ingestible sensors, and biofeedback wearables are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are CPR assistance devices and bioabsorbable coated implants, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry
Precision radiotherapy is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry
Precision radiotherapy focuses to deliver the radiation dose very precisely to a specified target that helps to reduce the adverse side effects and improve the treatment outcome. This allows radiologists to give a more accurate radiation dosage to the target area and eliminates technical and clinical uncertainty in tumour targeting. As a result, it is now possible to increase the radiation dosage to the appropriate target while decreasing the volume of irradiated normal tissue. It is considered a standard of care in the anti-cancer treatment and is often given along with chemotherapy or surgery or used independently.
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 180+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of precision radiotherapy.
Key players in precision radiotherapy – 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 precision radiotherapy
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Koninklijke Philips NV||609||Unlock Company Profile|
|Elekta AB||202||Unlock Company Profile|
|Accuray Inc||175||Unlock Company Profile|
|ViewRay Inc||172||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens AG||168||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens Healthineers AG||78||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co Ltd||62||Unlock Company Profile|
|RefleXion Medical Inc||57||Unlock Company Profile|
|Integer Holdings Corp||44||Unlock Company Profile|
|Otsuka Holdings Co Ltd||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|Forschungszentrum Julich GmbH||37||Unlock Company Profile|
|NeuroNexus Technologies||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|PhotoPharmics Inc||29||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alberta Health Services||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|SpectraCure AB||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cognito Therapeutics Inc||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|NeuroPace Inc||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biotronik SE & Co KG||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kona Medical Inc||26||Unlock Company Profile|
|Synergia Medical SA||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|LG Corp||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ion Beam Applications SA||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|BrainLAB AG||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|Immunolight LLC||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|KinetiCor Inc||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Functional Neuromodulation Inc.||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Embracer Group AB||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|3C-Medizintechnik GmbH||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|Verneuil Participations SA||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sensai Corporation||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group Corp||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arai-Medphoton Research Laboratories Corp||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arizona Board of Regents||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Procter & Gamble Co||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|AbbVie Inc||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Qfix||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mirion Technologies Inc||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lindeman Asia Investment Corp||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|CorNova Inc||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba Corp||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|JK-Holding GmbH||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Monteris Medical Inc||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Diagnostic Biochips, Inc.||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|CellReturn Co Ltd||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|QiG Group, LLC||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Micro Power Electronics, Inc.||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Synaptive Medical Inc||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||12||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Immunolight leads the pack, followed by Verneuil Participations and BrainLAB. By geographic reach, BrainLAB holds the top position, followed by Immunolight and RefleXion Medical in second and third spots, respectively.
The technological obstacles remain significant. With advances in the next-generation sequencing (NGS) and panomics technologies along with the incorporation of various large-scale biological databases and artificial intelligence, precision radiotherapy is considered an emerging field in the field of oncology. Although it is considered an essential part of cancer management, extensive clinical studies are further required to minimize the destruction of normal tissue.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.