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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, as well as 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: AI-assisted MRI.  Buy the report here.

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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 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

AI-assisted MRI is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence 

AI is widely used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) due to its MRI-specific soft tissue contrast, wide range of structural and physiological acquisition protocols, and its diagnostic potential. 

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 AI-assisted MRI. 

Key players in AI-assisted MRI – 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 AI-assisted MRI

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Siemens 263 Unlock Company Profile
Heartflow 251 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips 170 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 87 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 83 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 79 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 73 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 68 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 64 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Medical Systems 35 Unlock Company Profile
Arterys 33 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 32 Unlock Company Profile
Elekta 29 Unlock Company Profile
Heuron 24 Unlock Company Profile
Hyperfine Research 24 Unlock Company Profile
BrainLAB 24 Unlock Company Profile
Synaptive Medical 23 Unlock Company Profile
Hyperfine 21 Unlock Company Profile
Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris 19 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 17 Unlock Company Profile
Shimadzu 16 Unlock Company Profile
Neurophet 14 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 11 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh 9 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 9 Unlock Company Profile
Medrad 9 Unlock Company Profile
Omniscient Neurotechnology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Cedars-Sinai Health System 8 Unlock Company Profile
General Hospital 8 Unlock Company Profile
Dragerwerk 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services 8 Unlock Company Profile
United States Of America 8 Unlock Company Profile
SimBioSys 7 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 7 Unlock Company Profile
Genetic Innovations 7 Unlock Company Profile
Children's Medical Center 7 Unlock Company Profile
Bracco Injeneering 7 Unlock Company Profile
Darmiyan 7 Unlock Company Profile
Oki Electric Industry 6 Unlock Company Profile
Teijin 6 Unlock Company Profile
Antaros Medical 6 Unlock Company Profile
BioProtonics 6 Unlock Company Profile
NovoCure 5 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing SenseTime Technology Development 5 Unlock Company Profile
Esaote 5 Unlock Company Profile
Exxellence 5 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health 5 Unlock Company Profile
Acuitas Medical 5 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen United Imaging Healthcare 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Siemens is the leading patent filer in the AI-assisted MRI market. Some other leading patent filers include Heartflow and Koninklijke Philips

In terms of application diversity, BrainLAB leads the pack, followed by Teijin and Heartflow. With regards to geographic reach, Bracco Injeneering leads, followed by Hyperfine Research and Shenzhen United Imaging Healthcare. 

AI will turn MRI into a new era of quantitative imaging that will use massive data structures, replacing its most qualitative therapeutic applications. Clinical diagnostic criteria can be met by AI-based algorithms that are currently being developed. The algorithms have outstanding quality and efficiency. 

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

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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.