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, and 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 Robotics in medical: guided robotic surgical tools. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 155,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the medical devices industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Guided robotic surgical tools is a key innovation area in robotics

Guided robotic surgical tools are devices that integrate imaging data and robotic assistance to enhance surgical precision. These tools use sensors, cameras, and computer algorithms to create a virtual roadmap of the patient’s anatomy, which is then used to guide the surgical tool to the target site with greater accuracy.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of guided robotic surgical tools.

Key players in guided robotic surgical tools – 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 guided robotic surgical tools

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Medtronic 225 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 166 Unlock Company Profile
Intuitive Surgical 130 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 87 Unlock Company Profile
Globus Medical 59 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 58 Unlock Company Profile
BrainLAB 26 Unlock Company Profile
Medical Microinstruments 24 Unlock Company Profile
Creo Medical Group 22 Unlock Company Profile
Merit Medical Systems 21 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Healthineers 20 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 17 Unlock Company Profile
CairnSurgical 13 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 12 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Surgical 12 Unlock Company Profile
Broncus Medical 11 Unlock Company Profile
Waters 11 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 10 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
Micrima 8 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 8 Unlock Company Profile
Rfemb 6 Unlock Company Profile
Synaptive Medical 6 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 6 Unlock Company Profile
Perfint Healthcare Pvt 5 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Medical Diagnostics 5 Unlock Company Profile
NDR Medical Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
Weinberg Medical Physics 4 Unlock Company Profile
GE HealthCare Technologies 4 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 3 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health Tbk 3 Unlock Company Profile
Altaris Capital Partners 3 Unlock Company Profile
US Department of Health and Human Services 3 Unlock Company Profile
Best Medical International 3 Unlock Company Profile
ASAN Foundation 3 Unlock Company Profile
ImmunSYS 3 Unlock Company Profile
Searete 2 Unlock Company Profile
3DBiopsy 2 Unlock Company Profile
Mayo Clinic 2 Unlock Company Profile
Embracer Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 2 Unlock Company Profile
Government of United States 2 Unlock Company Profile
Chest Innovations 2 Unlock Company Profile
amedo Smart Tracking Solutions 2 Unlock Company Profile
US Government 1 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 1 Unlock Company Profile
German Cancer Research Center 1 Unlock Company Profile
Cook Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
SpineView 1 Unlock Company Profile
Robin Medical 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Medtronic is one of the leading patent filers in the field of guided robotic surgical tools. Some other key patent filers in the field include Johnson & Johnson, Intuitive Surgical, and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, ASAN Foundation leads the pack, while BrainLAB and Waters stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, BrainLAB held the top position, followed by Medical Microinstruments and Creo Medical Group.

Guided robotic surgical tools have the potential to revolutionize the field of surgery by enhancing precision, facilitating complex minimally invasive procedures with low complication rates, and providing surgeons with valuable real-time information. The future holds the promise of extensive adoption of these tools across various specialties and increased automation. There is also room for further advancements through artificial intelligence (AI) integration, as well as the development of autonomous surgical robots and remotely supervised surgical procedures.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in 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.