Research and innovation in healthtech in the healthcare operations sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of healthtech related patent applications in the industry stood at 49 in the three months ending March – down from 76 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to healthtech followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 88 in the three months ending March 2021 to 63 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.

Healthtech 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.

Fresenius SE & CO KGaA was the top healthtech innovator in the healthcare operations sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Germany, filed 25 healthtech related patents in the three months ending March. That was down from 48 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Cerner Corp with eight healthtech patent applications, the United States based Omnicell Inc (6 applications), and the United States based CareDx Inc (3 applications).