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 of technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalisation. 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: Ventilator flow controllers.

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

Ventilator flow controllers is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Ventilator flow controllers employ cuffed narrow-bore endotracheal tubes to maintain consistent flow during inspiration and expiration, while maintaining standard tidal volumes. These devices do not pause the flow during the ventilation cycle, and uniformly maintain the rate of change of pressure and volume in the lungs.

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 ventilator flow controllers.

Key players in ventilator flow controllers – 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 ventilator flow controllers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd 181 Unlock company profile
ResMed Inc 63 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips NV 63 Unlock company profile
Pneuma Respiratory Inc 53 Unlock company profile
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd 27 Unlock company profile
Senzime AB 26 Unlock company profile
Dragerwerk AG & Co KGaA 23 Unlock company profile
Air Liquide SA 23 Unlock company profile
Syqe Medical Ltd 18 Unlock company profile
Imperial Brands Plc 17 Unlock company profile
Asahi Kasei Corp 17 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 17 Unlock company profile
BMC Medical Co Ltd 16 Unlock company profile
Medtronic Plc 16 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco Plc 15 Unlock company profile
Adherium Ltd 14 Unlock company profile
JUUL Labs Inc 13 Unlock company profile
Vyaire Medical Inc 13 Unlock company profile
Teijin Ltd 13 Unlock company profile
General Electric Co 12 Unlock company profile
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co Ltd 10 Unlock company profile
AptarGroup Inc 9 Unlock company profile
MicroBase Technology Corp 8 Unlock company profile
Cipla Ltd 8 Unlock company profile
NovaResp Technologies Inc 8 Unlock company profile
KT&G Corp 8 Unlock company profile
Getinge AB 8 Unlock company profile
Linde plc 8 Unlock company profile
Apex Medical Corp 8 Unlock company profile
Indose, Inc. 6 Unlock company profile
The ODP Corp 5 Unlock company profile
Loewenstein Medical Technology SA 5 Unlock company profile
Mermaid Care A/S 5 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific Corp 5 Unlock company profile
Advanced Inhalation Therapies (AIT), Ltd. 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is one of the leading patent filers in the field of ventilator flow controllers. Some other key patent filers in the field include ResMed, Koninklijke Philips and Pneuma Respiratory.

In terms of application diversity, Linde leads the pack, followed by Boston Scientific and Senzime. By means of geographic reach, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries held the top position, followed by Air Liquide and Senzime in second and third spots, respectively.

The market for ventilators has grown dramatically over time due to technological developments such as the creation of sophisticated portable ventilators and breakthroughs in the sensor technologies used in ventilators. An increase in the number of preterm births, ICU beds, and the incidence of respiratory illnesses are the other factors driving mechanical ventilation.

Future prospects of ventilator flow controllers should include integrating mechanical ventilators with other bedside technologies within the ICU.

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.