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, 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 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Robotics in medical: 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.

Surgical robots is a key innovation area in robotics

Surgical robots automate all or part of the medical surgery process. Surgical robots are designed to solve the limitations currently present in minimally invasive surgeries (MIS), as well as to improve outcomes in open surgical procedures. These systems are utilized in a variety of surgical procedures, including cardiovascular, general surgery, orthopedic, neurosurgery, obstetrics, and gynaecology.

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 200+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of surgical robots.

Key players in 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 surgical robots

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 2679 Unlock Company Profile
Intuitive Surgical Inc 1130 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic Plc 591 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus Corp 577 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker Corp 330 Unlock Company Profile
CMR Surgical Ltd 259 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips NV 181 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 161 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group Corp 125 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd 113 Unlock Company Profile
Globus Medical Inc 82 Unlock Company Profile
Titan Medical Inc 80 Unlock Company Profile
Momentis Innovative Surgery Ltd 70 Unlock Company Profile
Canon Inc 70 Unlock Company Profile
Medicaroid Corp 65 Unlock Company Profile
Synaptive Medical Inc 56 Unlock Company Profile
BrainLAB AG 47 Unlock Company Profile
Procept Biorobotics Corp 47 Unlock Company Profile
Midea Group Co Ltd 45 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific Corp 44 Unlock Company Profile
Medical Microinstruments SpA 39 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 38 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens Healthineers AG 36 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens AG 34 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric Co 33 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Shurui Technology Co Ltd 31 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development Corp 31 Unlock Company Profile
SRI International 29 Unlock Company Profile
Think Surgical, Inc. 28 Unlock Company Profile
European Commission 27 Unlock Company Profile
Navigate Surgical Technologies Inc 26 Unlock Company Profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc 25 Unlock Company Profile
XACT Robotics Ltd 25 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Intecc Co Ltd 24 Unlock Company Profile
Vicarious Surgical Inc. 23 Unlock Company Profile
Creo Medical Group Plc 22 Unlock Company Profile
Bio-Medical Engineering (HK) Ltd 20 Unlock Company Profile
RIVERFIELD, Inc. 20 Unlock Company Profile
Quantum Surgical SAS 20 Unlock Company Profile
Waters Corp 20 Unlock Company Profile
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne 19 Unlock Company Profile
Zidan Medical Inc 17 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings Corp 17 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health Tbk 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mayo Clinic 15 Unlock Company Profile
Medrobotics Corp 15 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 14 Unlock Company Profile
NHK Spring Co Ltd 14 Unlock Company Profile
Bonutti Skeletal Innovations LLC 13 Unlock Company Profile
Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt eV 13 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Intuitive Surgical is one of the leading patent filers in the field of surgical robots. Some other key patent filers in the field include Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, and Olympus.

In terms of application diversity, Bonutti Skeletal Innovations leads the pack, followed by Waters and DEKA Research and Development. By geographic reach, Momentis Innovative Surgery holds the top position, followed by DEKA Research and Development and European Commission in second and third spots, respectively.

The segment’s prevalence is increasing, evidenced by Intuitive Surgical’s daVinci system that is known to have performed more than ten million procedures since its launch, leading to a significant investment in medical robotics.

Surgical robots are expected to have far-reaching implications in the field of surgery as they offer minimally invasive procedures that present fewer complications with a shorter recovery time. The surgical robot market is expected to grow at a lucrative rate driven by the acceptance from medical fraternity and patients at large, and by the increasing demand for automation to meet the treatment needs of ever-growing population suffering from urological, neurological, and gynaecological, and other diseases.

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.