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 Robotics in medical: intelligent assistive devices. Buy the report here.
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.
Intelligent assistive devices is a key innovation area in robotics
Assistive devices include mobility aids, such as walkers, wheelchairs and crutches, equipped with sensors to notify users in dangerous situations and to communicate with others in the case of a fall, among other things. Incorporating intelligent assistive devices into eldercare may offer opportunities to reduce caregiver burden and improve healthcare services while improving the quality of life among older adults with mild to severe cognitive deficits.
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 190+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of intelligent assistive devices.
Key players in intelligent assistive devices – 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 intelligent assistive devices
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Samsung Group||214||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toyota Motor Corp||193||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic Holdings Corp||105||Unlock Company Profile|
|Evolution Technologies, Inc.||87||Unlock Company Profile|
|Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd||86||Unlock Company Profile|
|Wistron Corp||63||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Electronics Holding Co Ltd||54||Unlock Company Profile|
|Funai Electric Co Ltd||53||Unlock Company Profile|
|JTEKT Corp||53||Unlock Company Profile|
|LG Corp||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|Parker Hannifin Corp||37||Unlock Company Profile|
|Otto Bock Holding GmbH & Co KG||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nabtesco Corp||35||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|ProtoStar Inc||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|Medline Industries Inc||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ossur hf||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Suzuki Motor Corp||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Japan Wool Textile Co., Ltd.||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cyberdyne Inc||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honda Motor Co Ltd||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|GEMASA||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|AMG Medical Inc||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|Midea Group Co Ltd||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Suncall Corp||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Baxter International Inc||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|Exokinetics Inc||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Schindler Holding Ltd||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines Corp||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sunrise Medical GmbH & Co. KG||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|HaptX Inc||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Space Bio-Laboratories Co Ltd||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Roam Robotics, Inc.||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fuji Machine Manufacturing (Europe) GmbH||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Arizona Board of Regents||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|OPUM Technologies Ltd||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT OY||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|EW Healthcare Partners||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Motivo Inc||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Made For Movement Group AS||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|medica Medizintechnik GmbH||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|ReWalk Robotics Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|FUNDACION FATRONIK||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hocoma Ag||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Drive Medical Canada, Inc.||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|BAE Systems Plc||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Continental AG||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ford Motor Co||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Moving life Ltd||8||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Samsung Group and Toyota Motor are two of the leading patent filers in intelligent assistive devices. Some other leading patent filers include Panasonic, Evolution Technologies, Murata Manufacturing, Wistron, and Beijing Electronics.
In terms of application diversity, Baxter International leads the pack, followed by Ford Motor and AMG Medical. By geographic reach, Baxter International holds the top position, followed by Schindler and HaptX in second and third spots, respectively.
A considerable percentage of caregivers and older individuals lack access to intelligent assistive technologies (IAT) due to a variety of issues, including socioeconomic position, technology literacy, and the ongoing digital divide. Existing and upcoming IATs for caregivers and care recipients must be evaluated for their potential to benefit the overall target group.
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.