The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, as well as a growing importance of 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: Robotic surgery navigation planning.
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
Robotic surgery navigation planning is a key innovation area in robotics
Surgical navigation technology enables a surgeon to calculate the instrument position and precise location of the target area in patients for pre-operative planning or intraoperative surgical navigation. Robotic surgery navigation systems are highly flexible and provide improved surgical accuracy with reduced error margins to improve clinical outcomes. These have replaced the conventional fluoroscopy methods as they reduce the radiation exposure time and provide better visual guidance.
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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of robotic surgery navigation planning.
Key players in robotic surgery navigation planning – 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 robotic surgery navigation planning
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Johnson & Johnson and Koninklijke Philips are two of the leading patent filers in the field of robotic surgery navigation planning. Some other leading patent filers include Heartflow, Medtronic and Siemens.
In terms of application diversity, Theator leads the pack, followed by International Business Machines (IBM) and Fujifilm Holdings. By means of geographic reach, Erasmus MC held the top position, followed by Johnson & Johnson and NuVasive in second and third spots, respectively.
Though robotic surgery navigation planning has been around in operating theatres for quite some time, challenges such as high cost, accessibility, and skill set to use the systems should be addressed to further expand their usage. Advancements in technology are expected to curb some of these challenges. Also, efforts should made to train more healthcare professionals in order to meet the demand.
To further understand how robotics is disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Medical (2021).