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 modelling and rendering.

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 modelling and rendering is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

A computer graphics technique called 3D rendering makes use of three-dimensional models and data. A lifelike or non-photorealistic image is the desired outcome of this technique. A 3D model is a digital representation of an object made with software or through 3D scanning. An additional type of virtual photography is 3D rendering.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of 3D modelling and rendering.

Key players in 3D modelling and rendering – 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 modelling and rendering

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Heartflow 327 Unlock company profile
Stryker 148 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 101 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 50 Unlock company profile
Align Technology 49 Unlock company profile
EBM 42 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 40 Unlock company profile
Dentsply Sirona 38 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 37 Unlock company profile
Smith & Nephew 30 Unlock company profile
EcoSense Lighting 25 Unlock company profile
Siemens 22 Unlock company profile
NovaRad 19 Unlock company profile
Vektor Medical 18 Unlock company profile
Surgical Theater 17 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 17 Unlock company profile
Synaptive Medical 16 Unlock company profile
ResMed 14 Unlock company profile
Alcon 14 Unlock company profile
SymphonyAI Group 14 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 13 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 13 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 12 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 12 Unlock company profile
Materialise 12 Unlock company profile
Medit 11 Unlock company profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 11 Unlock company profile
Axial Medical Printing 10 Unlock company profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 10 Unlock company profile
Magic Leap 10 Unlock company profile
Accuray 9 Unlock company profile
Nant Holdings Ip 9 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 9 Unlock company profile
CMR Surgical 8 Unlock company profile
3M 8 Unlock company profile
Calgary Scientific 8 Unlock company profile
Intuitive Surgical 8 Unlock company profile
EchoPixel 8 Unlock company profile
Canon 8 Unlock company profile
Zaxis Labs 8 Unlock company profile
Wuxi EA Medical Instruments Technologies 7 Unlock company profile
StoryUP Studios 7 Unlock company profile
Meta Platforms 7 Unlock company profile
Envista Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
FEops 6 Unlock company profile
Raysearch Laboratories 6 Unlock company profile
Peacs 6 Unlock company profile
Butterfly Network 5 Unlock company profile
Ivoclar Vivadent 5 Unlock company profile
Montefiore Medical Center 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Heartflow is the leading patent filer in 3D modelling and rendering. Some other leading patent filers include Stryker and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, CMR Surgical leads, followed by Vektor Medical and ResMed. With regards to geographic reach, Magic Leap leads, followed by CMR Surgical and Stryker.

Design adjustments and design optimisation are made possible by AI in 3D modelling and rendering. The design process is more efficient, creative, and effective due to automation. The geometrical limitations on design options are overcome with the help of artificial intelligence. 

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.