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: remote surgical robotsBuy 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.

Remote surgical robots is a key innovation area in robotics

Remote surgical robots refer to robotic systems that enable surgeons to perform surgical procedures remotely, without being physically present with the patient. These robots are equipped with advanced imaging devices and tools that are guided by manipulators. Using hand gestures and controls, the surgeon uses the robotic system to precisely move the instruments inside the patient’s body while operating it from a console.

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 remote surgical robots.

Key players in remote surgical robots – 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 remote surgical robots

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Intuitive Surgical 439 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 167 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 63 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 41 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 20 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 19 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Healthineers 13 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 12 Unlock Company Profile
Wink Robotics 12 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Koh Young Technology 12 Unlock Company Profile
Titan Medical 10 Unlock Company Profile
Think Surgical 9 Unlock Company Profile
Medicaroid 9 Unlock Company Profile
Sysmex 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cyberdyne 6 Unlock Company Profile
Teladoc Health 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 6 Unlock Company Profile
meere 6 Unlock Company Profile
Curexo 5 Unlock Company Profile
SRI International 5 Unlock Company Profile
Medical Microinstruments 5 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 5 Unlock Company Profile
Midea Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Globus Medical 4 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Shurui Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 2 Unlock Company Profile
Vicarious Surgical 1 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 1 Unlock Company Profile
HD Hyundai 1 Unlock Company Profile
Asensus Surgical 1 Unlock Company Profile
KARL STORZ 1 Unlock Company Profile
Computer Motion 1 Unlock Company Profile
ForSight Robotics 1 Unlock Company Profile
Covivio 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Intuitive Surgical and Johnson & Johnson are two of the leading patent filers in remote surgical robots. Some other key patent filers include Olympus, Sony Group, and Stryker.

In terms of application diversity, SRI International leads the pack, while Sysmex and Vicarious Surgical stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Stryker held the top position, followed by Intuitive Surgical and Siemens Healthineers.

The pivotal innovation in remote surgical robots has enabled surgeons to perform intricate procedures from a distance with precision and dexterity. The prospects are vast, poised to expand accessibility to specialized medical care. With incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) and connectivity, these robots promise improved surgical outcomes, reduced errors, and increased patient access to expert medical treatments, shaping the future of healthcare.

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.