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 Innovation in medical: ultrasonic nebulizers. 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 stabilizing 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.

30+ 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 155,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, ultrasonic nebulizers and intra-oral 3D imaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intraocular pressure monitoring, automated diabetes management, and tissue repair implants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is CPR assistance devices, which is now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry

Ultrasonic nebulizers is a key innovation area in medical devices

Ultrasonic nebulizers are devices that use high-frequency vibrations to convert liquid medicine into a fine mist or aerosol that can be readily inhaled by a patient. Suitable for a range of medications and easy to use, these nebulizers are often used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of ultrasonic nebulizers.

Key players in ultrasonic nebulizers – 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 ultrasonic nebulizers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 167 Unlock Company Profile
Stamford Devices 121 Unlock Company Profile
Eyenovia 116 Unlock Company Profile
Nektar Therapeutics 101 Unlock Company Profile
Pneuma Respiratory 98 Unlock Company Profile
PARI Medical 69 Unlock Company Profile
MicroBase Technology 66 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 63 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 47 Unlock Company Profile
AFT Pharmaceuticals 40 Unlock Company Profile
L'Oreal 40 Unlock Company Profile
Aerami Therapeutics 31 Unlock Company Profile
British American Tobacco 26 Unlock Company Profile
Philip Morris International 26 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Tobacco 22 Unlock Company Profile
TTP 20 Unlock Company Profile
AptarGroup 19 Unlock Company Profile
Novopyxis 19 Unlock Company Profile
AeroSurgical 16 Unlock Company Profile
United Therapeutics 14 Unlock Company Profile
Saban Ventures 13 Unlock Company Profile
Vapotherm 13 Unlock Company Profile
Qnovia 12 Unlock Company Profile
Omega Life Science 11 Unlock Company Profile
Henkel 11 Unlock Company Profile
Convexity Scientific 10 Unlock Company Profile
Zambon 10 Unlock Company Profile
Health & Life 10 Unlock Company Profile
JUUL Labs 10 Unlock Company Profile
Nortev 10 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Electronics 9 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 8 Unlock Company Profile
Funai Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
HCmed Innovations 7 Unlock Company Profile
System Assistance Medical 7 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 7 Unlock Company Profile
HEC Pharm Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Droplette 6 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics 5 Unlock Company Profile
S.C. Johnson & Son 5 Unlock Company Profile
Luna Innovations 4 Unlock Company Profile
Novartis 4 Unlock Company Profile
NEBU-TEC med. Produkte Eike Kern 4 Unlock Company Profile
Flaem Nuova 4 Unlock Company Profile
Sheiman Ultrasonic Research Foundation 3 Unlock Company Profile
Wellfully 3 Unlock Company Profile
La Diffusion Technique Francaise 3 Unlock Company Profile
Sensory Cloud 3 Unlock Company Profile
Nebu-Tec 3 Unlock Company Profile
MONQ 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in the field of ultrasonic nebulizers. Some other key patent filers in the field include Stamford Devices, Eyenovia, and Nektar Therapeutics.

In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson leads the pack, while S.C. Johnson & Son and Novartis stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Johnson & Johnson held the top position, followed by AFT Pharmaceuticals and Eyenovia.

Offering user-friendly, efficient, and adaptable solutions for effective respiratory medication delivery, ultrasonic nebulizers remain significantly relevant in the field of healthcare. With further research and innovations, these nebulizers have a bright future with potential opportunities in advancing drug delivery, portability, and remote monitoring. Furthermore, as respiratory diseases become more common and the demand for home healthcare devices rises, it is probable that ultrasonic nebulizers will undergo further developments to become even more compact and incorporate smart features.

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