Research and innovation in internet of things in the medical sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of IoT patent applications in the industry stood at 155 in the three months ending November – down from 254 over the same period last year.

Figures for patent grants related to IoT followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 159 in the three months ending November last year to 102 this year.

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.

IoT 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 internet of things innovator in the medical sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 63 IoT related patents in the three months ending November. That was down from 96 over the same period last year.

It was followed by Ireland-based Medtronic Plc with 27 IoT patent applications, the US-based DexCom Inc (25 applications), and the US-based Hill-Rom Holdings Inc (10 applications).