Research and innovation in artificial intelligence in the medical sector has declined in the past three months.

The most recent figures show that the number of AI related patent applications in the industry stood at 425 in the three months ending June – down from 458 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to AI followed a different pattern to filings – growing from 91 in the three months ending June 2021 to 118 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

AI is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Johnson & Johnson was the top AI innovator in the medical sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 57 AI related patents in the three months ending June. That was up from 27 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the Switzerland based F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd with 43 AI patent applications, Ireland based Medtronic Plc (35 applications), and the United Kingdom based Smith & Nephew Plc (22 applications).

Abbott Laboratories has recently ramped up R&D in AI. It saw growth of 93.3% in related patent applications in the three months ending June compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the medical sector.