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 stimulation devices. 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 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 stimulation device is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry 

Ultrasonic stimulation devices deliver non-invasive pulsed ultrasonic waves to specific areas in the brain to either inhibit or excite neural activity. The devices provide high spatial resolution and can potentially target different sites of the peripheral and central nervous system. It is an emerging therapeutic technique for an array of psychiatric, developmental and neurological disorders, gradually replacing the traditional electric and magnetic stimulation methods.  

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

Key players in ultrasonic stimulation devices – 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 stimulation devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Medtronic 92 Unlock Company Profile
Merz PharmaaA 62 Unlock Company Profile
Highland Instruments 61 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 45 Unlock Company Profile
Apax Partners LLP 39 Unlock Company Profile
Foundry 36 Unlock Company Profile
Affiliated Managers Group 36 Unlock Company Profile
Venus Concept 31 Unlock Company Profile
ElectroCore 25 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 24 Unlock Company Profile
Medical Technologies CZ 21 Unlock Company Profile
Thermalin 21 Unlock Company Profile
Soovu Labs 21 Unlock Company Profile
Ya-Man 20 Unlock Company Profile
CareWear 20 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 19 Unlock Company Profile
Gearbox 18 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 13 Unlock Company Profile
Ojai Retinal Technology 12 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 12 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 12 Unlock Company Profile
ElMinda 11 Unlock Company Profile
Cerenion 11 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 11 Unlock Company Profile
Pharosgen 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hironic 9 Unlock Company Profile
Thync 9 Unlock Company Profile
Serene Medical 9 Unlock Company Profile
Halo Neuro 8 Unlock Company Profile
SmileSonica 7 Unlock Company Profile
Provectus Biopharmaceuticals 7 Unlock Company Profile
Autonomix Medical 7 Unlock Company Profile
Ouhua Meike (Tianjin) Medical Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
LG 6 Unlock Company Profile
Amorepacific Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sonovia Holdings 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cerevast Medical 6 Unlock Company Profile
Medical Energetics 6 Unlock Company Profile
Searete 6 Unlock Company Profile
Neuroelectrics 5 Unlock Company Profile
Viveve Medical 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hologic 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Medtronic is one of the leading patent filers in the field of ultrasonic stimulation devices. Some other key patent filers in the field include Merz Pharma and Highland Instruments. 

In terms of application diversity, Thermalin leads the pack, followed by Merz Pharma and Autonomix Medical. By means of geographic reach, Autonomix Medical holds the top position, followed by Medical Energetics and Cerevast Medical in the second and third spots, respectively. 

Ultrasonic stimulation devices have become crucial neuromodulation therapeutic tools for patients with brain disorders. The technology has drawn considerable attention for its advantages, such as deeper penetration and no tissue heating. The rapidly ageing population with brain disorders and limited availability of effective surgical and medication alternatives is likely to drive the overall growth of this market. 

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.