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: surgical robot end effectors. 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.
Surgical robot end effectors is a key innovation area in robotics
Surgical robot end effectors refer to the tools or devices attached to the robotic arms used in surgical procedures. These end effectors are meticulously engineered to replicate the dexterity and precision of the human hand, with a surgeon controlling them via a console. They can include cutting tools, graspers, scissors, and other instruments, and are used to perform minimally invasive 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 140+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of surgical robot end effectors.
Key players in surgical robot end effectors – 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 surgical robot end effectors
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Intuitive Surgical||3327||Unlock Company Profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||2460||Unlock Company Profile|
|Medtronic||1196||Unlock Company Profile|
|Stryker||249||Unlock Company Profile|
|Olympus||178||Unlock Company Profile|
|Abbott Laboratories||147||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kawasaki Heavy Industries||146||Unlock Company Profile|
|DexCom||128||Unlock Company Profile|
|Momentis Innovative Surgery||110||Unlock Company Profile|
|CMR Surgical||99||Unlock Company Profile|
|SRI International||96||Unlock Company Profile|
|Koninklijke Philips||90||Unlock Company Profile|
|Medicaroid||80||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vicarious Surgical||57||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guided Therapy Systems||55||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sony Group||51||Unlock Company Profile|
|Medical Microinstruments||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|avateramedical||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|RIVERFIELD||37||Unlock Company Profile|
|Microbot Medical||37||Unlock Company Profile|
|NuVasive||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|BAROnova||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Shurui Technology||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kawasaki Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Magic Leap||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|European Commission||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Becton Dickinson||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|Smart Medical Devices||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|F. Hoffmann-La Roche||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Smith & Nephew||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Asensus Surgical||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Elbe Valley Medical||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|KindHeart||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|meere||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alphabet||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|ConMed||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Waters||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Raytheon Technologies||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Steerable Instruments||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Cyberdyne||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Globus Medical||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Terumo||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vectorious Medical Technologies||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Aktormed||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lindeman Asia Investment||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biolitec Unternehmensbeteiligungs II||9||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Raytheon Technologies leads the pack, while Waters and Magic Leap stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, DexCom held the top position, followed by Abbott Laboratories and Vicarious Surgical.
With the continued advancement of robotics, further developments and advancements in surgical robot end effectors can be expected, allowing for more precise and efficient operations. Improvements in the precision and adaptability of surgical instruments will lead to a shorter recovery period and better outcomes for patients, thanks to advancements in materials, design, and artificial intelligence (AI).
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.