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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: Vital Signs Measuring 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

Vital signs measuring devices is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry

Vital signs measuring devices assess and measure the core physiological parameters such as pulse, blood pressure, breathing, and temperature. These are increasingly adopted in clinical settings as wearable health devices due to their capability of monitoring multiple patients from central monitoring systems. Features including miniaturisation, portability, mobility, wireless connectivity, continuous monitoring, real-time measurement, and data transmission to vital monitoring applications allow for timely intervention during medical emergencies.

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 vital signs measuring devices.

Key players in vital signs measuring 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 vital signs measuring devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Asahi Kasei 317 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 162 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International 77 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 38 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 29 Unlock Company Profile
Nasophlex 27 Unlock Company Profile
Equinox Ophthalmic 25 Unlock Company Profile
JTEKT 22 Unlock Company Profile
Senzime 20 Unlock Company Profile
Sympara Medical 20 Unlock Company Profile
Otolith Sound 14 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics 13 Unlock Company Profile
Cardinal Health 13 Unlock Company Profile
OPUM Technologies 12 Unlock Company Profile
Apollo Neuroscience 11 Unlock Company Profile
Weinmann Emergency Medical Technology 11 Unlock Company Profile
CellAegis Devices 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ekso Bionics Holdings 10 Unlock Company Profile
Sunlighten 10 Unlock Company Profile
Radial Medical 10 Unlock Company Profile
Ziv Healthcare 9 Unlock Company Profile
Recovery Force 8 Unlock Company Profile
Dragerwerk 8 Unlock Company Profile
Biomobie 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mortara Instrument 8 Unlock Company Profile
VascuActive 8 Unlock Company Profile
KEBA 8 Unlock Company Profile
Pohlig 8 Unlock Company Profile
Pacinimedico 7 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cogniguard Medical Holdings 6 Unlock Company Profile
Ximio Health 6 Unlock Company Profile
Andalusian Health Service 6 Unlock Company Profile
Q30 Sports Science 6 Unlock Company Profile
Somne 5 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 5 Unlock Company Profile
Xiaomi 5 Unlock Company Profile
Midea Holding 5 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Wool Textile 5 Unlock Company Profile
Tactile Systems Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
ODP 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nonin Medical 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sorin CRM 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sichuan Xukang Medical Electrical Equipment 5 Unlock Company Profile
Family Inada 5 Unlock Company Profile
Therapymatch 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Asahi Kasei and Stryker are two of the leading patent filers in the market for vital signs measuring devices. Some other leading patent filers include Baxter International and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, ODP leads the pack, followed by Kyocera, and Cogniguard Medical. By means of geographic reach, Biomobie held the top position, followed by Senzime and Equinox Ophthalmic in second and third spots, respectively.

The overall prospects for vital signs measuring device industry look encouraging, where technological advances may play a significant role in user outcomes. These devices have become part and parcel of health assessment at both medical and personal fitness level. Integration of AI and cutting-edge features such as low power consumption, remote access to patient data, and simple designs are further expected to fuel the growth of this market in future.

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.