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 in technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalization. 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 Innovation in Medical Devices: Sonophoresis. Buy the report here.
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, neurostimulation therapy, smart physiotherapy devices, and real-time IR thermographic imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Precision radiotherapy, electric atomisers, and bio-active prosthesis coating are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are bioresorbable stent coating and cryogenic tissue treatment, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry
Sonophoresis is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry
Sonophoresis is a therapeutic agent delivery technique that uses ultrasound to effectively deliver a variety of drugs through the skin, replacing conventional transdermal drug delivery methods, including injections and oral means. The technique is considered typically for treating muscle soreness, tendonitis, and bursitis.
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 sonophoresis.
Key players in sonophoresis – 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 sonophoresis
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in the field of sonophoresis. Some other key patent filers in the field include Koninklijke Philips, Guided Therapy Systems and Elbit Imaging.
In terms of application diversity, Terumo leads the pack, followed by Onex and Abbott Laboratories, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Innovation Factory holds the top position, followed by Med-Aesthetic Solutions, and Cardiawave in the second and third spots, respectively.
The sonophoresis technique holds potential in the field of ocular and brain drug delivery and may also aid gene therapy and tissue engineering in the coming years. The companies are also exploring the techniques' ability to release vaccines gradually.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.