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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 tissue ablation. Buy the report here.

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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 tissue ablation is a key innovation area in robotics

Robotic tissue ablation is a clinical procedure of removing or destroying the diseased tissue or tumour from the body, with the help of a robotic surgical arm. This technique avoids conventional manual ablation methods, with its superiority, driven by increased precision, stability, and efficacy. It also assures safety from potential human errors.

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 110+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of robotic tissue ablation.

Key players in robotic tissue ablation – 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 tissue ablation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 4435 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 1004 Unlock Company Profile
Intuitive Surgical 731 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 465 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 412 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 280 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 161 Unlock Company Profile
CMR Surgical 82 Unlock Company Profile
Kardium 79 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 62 Unlock Company Profile
Pulse Biosciences 56 Unlock Company Profile
Monteris Medical 44 Unlock Company Profile
Bio-Medical Engineering (HK) 42 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 42 Unlock Company Profile
Nuvaira 40 Unlock Company Profile
Respiratory Technology 40 Unlock Company Profile
Viveve Medical 34 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 32 Unlock Company Profile
Medicaroid 31 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 31 Unlock Company Profile
Procept Biorobotics 31 Unlock Company Profile
KARL STORZ 29 Unlock Company Profile
CereVasc 29 Unlock Company Profile
InnerOptic Technology 29 Unlock Company Profile
Titan Medical 27 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 27 Unlock Company Profile
Acutus Medical 27 Unlock Company Profile
Synaptive Medical 25 Unlock Company Profile
Vektor Medical 24 Unlock Company Profile
Aesthetics BioMedical 23 Unlock Company Profile
XACT Robotics 21 Unlock Company Profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 20 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 20 Unlock Company Profile
Creo Medical Group 19 Unlock Company Profile
ProstaCare 19 Unlock Company Profile
Waters 18 Unlock Company Profile
AngioDynamics 18 Unlock Company Profile
ClearPoint Neuro 18 Unlock Company Profile
US Patent Innovations 17 Unlock Company Profile
Smith & Nephew 17 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 17 Unlock Company Profile
AtriCure 17 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Surgical 17 Unlock Company Profile
Gynesonics 17 Unlock Company Profile
Surgi-Vision 17 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai MicroPort EP MedTech 16 Unlock Company Profile
Broncus Medical 16 Unlock Company Profile
Avanos Medical 15 Unlock Company Profile
Zidan Medical 15 Unlock Company Profile
Neurent Medical 15 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in the field of robotic tissue ablation. Some other key patent filers in the field include Medtronic, Intuitive Surgical, and Abbott Laboratories.

In terms of application diversity, CereVasc leads the pack, followed by Waters and US Patent Innovations. By means of geographic reach, Creo Medical Group held the top position, followed by Clearpoint Neuro and Gynesonics in second and third spots, respectively.

With extremely low risk of complications, the cost and benefits of robotic tissue ablation are noteworthy. The procedures provide exceptional precision, speedy healing, and excellent outcomes, making it a dominant innovation in the field of medicine. In the near future, the market for surgery is expected to be driven by robotic tissue ablation, which will surpass traditional ablation surgery methods.

To further understand how robotics is disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Robotics in Medical (2021).

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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.