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Mentions of artificial intelligence within the filings of companies in the medical devices industry rose 25% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to artificial intelligence between July 2020 and June 2021 was a 66% increase over 2016 when GlobalData, from which our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the medical devices industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Artificial intelligence is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether artificial intelligence is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the medical devices industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned artificial intelligence at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 80% compared to 62% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to artificial intelligence.

Of the 50 biggest employers in the medical devices industry, Stryker Corp was the company which referred to artificial intelligence the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 67 artificial intelligence-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 1.3% of all sentences. F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd mentioned artificial intelligence the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.7% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high artificial intelligence mentions included Grifols SA, Medtronic Plc and Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc.

Across all companies in the medical devices industry the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on artificial intelligence came from Sectra AB. Of the document's 2,234 sentences, 23 (1%) referred to artificial intelligence.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and how important the issue is considered within the medical devices industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning artificial intelligence more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into artificial intelligence have been successes or failures.

In the last quarter, companies in the medical devices industry based in Asia were most likely to mention artificial intelligence with 0.25% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Oceania mentioned artificial intelligence in just 0.09% of sentences.