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: Ultrasonic atomizers.

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 

Ultrasonic atomiser is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry 

Ultrasonic atomizers are utilized to convert liquid into a very fine mist by using high-frequency sound waves. They consist of a generator and a probe. The generator creates vibrations at the tip of the probe and generates fine particles as the liquid passes through the probe. 

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 ultrasonic atomisers. 

Key players in ultrasonic atomisers – 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 ultrasonic atomisers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 153 Unlock company profile
Stamford Devices 101 Unlock company profile
Nektar Therapeutics 101 Unlock company profile
Eyenovia 91 Unlock company profile
Pneuma Respiratory 74 Unlock company profile
MicroBase Technology 58 Unlock company profile
PARI Medical Holding 56 Unlock company profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 55 Unlock company profile
Omron 54 Unlock company profile
AFT Pharmaceuticals 37 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 33 Unlock company profile
L'Oreal 32 Unlock company profile
Philip Morris International 19 Unlock company profile
Novopyxis 19 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco 17 Unlock company profile
AptarGroup 17 Unlock company profile
AeroSurgical 16 Unlock company profile
Henkel 13 Unlock company profile
Health & Life 10 Unlock company profile
United Therapeutics 10 Unlock company profile
Convexity Scientific 10 Unlock company profile
Nortev 10 Unlock company profile
Zambon 9 Unlock company profile
Vapotherm 9 Unlock company profile
Delta Electronics 9 Unlock company profile
Funai Electric 8 Unlock company profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 7 Unlock company profile
System Assistance Medical 7 Unlock company profile
Respira Technologies 6 Unlock company profile
Omega Life Science 5 Unlock company profile
HEC Pharm Group 5 Unlock company profile
HCmed Innovations 5 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in ultrasonic atomisers. Some other leading patent filers include Nektar Therapeutics, Stamford Devices, Eyenovia, and Pneuma Respiratory. 

In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson leads the pack, followed by Zambon and Eyenovia. By means of geographic reach, Johnson & Johnson holds the top position, followed by AFT Pharmaceuticals, and Novopyxis in the second and third spots, respectively. 

The use of ultrasonic atomisers is gaining popularity as they are easy to use, compact, environment-friendly, and efficient. Improvements in the design and operating systems are expected to produce more accurate, portable, efficient, and effective ultrasonic nebulizers in the future. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices


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.