The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the 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 Robotics in Medical Devices: HUDs for surgical navigation.
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, HUDs for surgical navigation, robotic biopsy endoscope, and camera-guided surgical robots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Robotic exoskeleton, surgical robots, and robotic catheters are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are robotic lower limb rehabilitation and microfluidic lab-on-a-chip, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for robotics in the medical devices industry
HUDs for surgical navigation is a key innovation area in robotics
HUD (Heads-up display) facilitates the visual representation of navigation information at multiple stages of surgery. A HUD widely projects the preoperative or intraoperative images over the surgical field, allowing surgeons to observe both before and after any ongoing surgery.
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 HUDs for surgical navigation.
Key players in HUDs for surgical navigation – 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 HUDs for surgical navigation
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Smith & Nephew||98||Unlock company profile|
|Stryker||81||Unlock company profile|
|Magic Leap||60||Unlock company profile|
|Medtronic||46||Unlock company profile|
|Globus Medical||43||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||30||Unlock company profile|
|OnPoint Medical Diagnostics||24||Unlock company profile|
|Vicarious Surgical||22||Unlock company profile|
|Align Technology||18||Unlock company profile|
|Aris MD||16||Unlock company profile|
|Seiko Epson||15||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens||13||Unlock company profile|
|Zimmer Biomet Holdings||13||Unlock company profile|
|Surgalign Holdings||10||Unlock company profile|
|Elbit Systems||9||Unlock company profile|
|Honeywell International||9||Unlock company profile|
|BrainLAB||8||Unlock company profile|
|Cleveland Clinic Foundation||7||Unlock company profile|
|Ivoclar Vivadent||7||Unlock company profile|
|Alcon||7||Unlock company profile|
|Sony Group||7||Unlock company profile|
|Augmedics||6||Unlock company profile|
|Taiwan Main Orthopaedics Biotechnology||6||Unlock company profile|
|Surgical Theater||6||Unlock company profile|
|Tietronix Software||6||Unlock company profile|
|Dentsply Sirona||5||Unlock company profile|
|Intuitive Surgical||5||Unlock company profile|
|Becton Dickinson and Co||5||Unlock company profile|
|Novartis||5||Unlock company profile|
|Osterhout Group||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Smith & Nephew is one of the leading patent filers in the field of HUDs for surgical navigation. Some other key patent filers in the field include Stryker and Magic Leap.
In terms of application diversity, Magic Leap leads the pack, followed by OnPoint Medical Diagnostics and Surgical Theater. By means of geographic reach, Smith & Nephew holds the top position, followed by Stryker and Cleveland Clinic.
Increasing healthcare expenditure and the need for cutting-edge technologies to aid the development of novel therapies and diagnostics have fuelled the need for this technology in the healthcare industry. As technology advances, the barriers to its widespread use in healthcare are beginning to fall.
To further understand how robotics is disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Medical (2021).