The healthcare industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by telemedicine, real-time diagnostics, smart hospitals and access to digital therapies, and the growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), robotics and data management practices. In the last three years alone, there have been over 106,000 patents filed and granted in the healthcare industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: 3D holography for medical imaging.

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.

200+ innovations will shape the healthcare industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the healthcare industry using innovation intensity models built on over 443,000 patents, there are 200+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, drug delivery device security, microscopic image analysis models, and cellular imaging techniques are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart balloon catheters, automated immunoassay analysers, and AI-assisted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are smart fitness training system and non-invasive physiological monitoring, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry

3D holography for medical imaging is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

A 3D hologram of a medical image is an unrestricted 3D projection that anybody can see without special 3D glasses. Doctors can enhance the standard of medical teaching and research by using holographic images. In order to execute tissue surgeries, it is employed to rebuild the picture of tissue samples. Another application of this technique is the creation of digital 3D prototypes for neuroscience.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of 3D holography for medical imaging.

Key players in 3D holography for medical imaging – a disruptive innovation in the healthcare 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 3D holography for medical imaging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Magic Leap 181 Unlock company profile
Smith & Nephew 98 Unlock company profile
Stryker 74 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 44 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 41 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 34 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 25 Unlock company profile
Fresenius & Co 20 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 17 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 16 Unlock company profile
Intel 15 Unlock company profile
Surgical Theater 14 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 13 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 9 Unlock company profile
InteraXon 9 Unlock company profile
Ricoh 9 Unlock company profile
Cloud DX 8 Unlock company profile
Weinmann Emergency Medical Technology 8 Unlock company profile
EssilorLuxottica 8 Unlock company profile
Qatar Foundation 6 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 5 Unlock company profile
Halliburton 5 Unlock company profile
InterDigital 5 Unlock company profile
Siemens 5 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Magic Leap is the leading patent filer in 3D holography for medical imaging. Some other leading patent filers include Smith & Nephew, and Stryker.

In terms of application diversity, Smith & Nephew leads, followed by InteraXon and Weinmann Emergency Medical Technology. With regards to geographic reach, Stryker leads, followed by Smith & Nephew, and Becton Dickinson.

The emergence of AI in 3D holography had led scientists to quickly generate a 3D hologram and has eased the complicated process that was earlier generated through complex physics simulations. The emergence of AI led to the real-time generation of the 3D hologram and is paving its way towards generating them on smartphones.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.

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.