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 surgical imaging systems.
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 surgical imaging systems is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
AI has recently been applied to surgery with a foundation in imaging, navigation and early techniques focused on feature detection and computer-assisted intervention for both preoperative planning and intraoperative guidance.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted surgical imaging systems.
Key players in AI-assisted surgical imaging systems – 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 cashierless stores
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Smith & Nephew Plc||164||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||110||Unlock company profile|
|Stryker Corp||95||Unlock company profile|
|Koninklijke Philips NV||45||Unlock company profile|
|EBM Corp||42||Unlock company profile|
|Theator Inc.||28||Unlock company profile|
|Medtronic Plc||28||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens AG||21||Unlock company profile|
|Intuitive Surgical Inc||20||Unlock company profile|
|Olympus Corp||20||Unlock company profile|
|Synaptive Medical Inc||20||Unlock company profile|
|Globus Medical Inc||19||Unlock company profile|
|Alcon Inc||17||Unlock company profile|
|Sony Group Corp||15||Unlock company profile|
|NovaRad Corp||15||Unlock company profile|
|Magic Leap Inc||15||Unlock company profile|
|Align Technology Inc||13||Unlock company profile|
|Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc||13||Unlock company profile|
|International Business Machines Corp||13||Unlock company profile|
|Aris MD Inc||13||Unlock company profile|
|Surgical Theater LLC||11||Unlock company profile|
|Quantum Surgical SAS||10||Unlock company profile|
|CMR Surgical Ltd||10||Unlock company profile|
|Vektor Medical Inc||9||Unlock company profile|
|Chang Gung Memorial Foundation||9||Unlock company profile|
|Alphabet Inc||7||Unlock company profile|
|Accenture Plc||7||Unlock company profile|
|Dental Monitoring SAS||6||Unlock company profile|
|Brain Navi Biotechnology Co Ltd||6||Unlock company profile|
|Hologic Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|Universidade de Coimbra||6||Unlock company profile|
|Dentsply Sirona Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|Tietronix Software Inc.||6||Unlock company profile|
|General Electric Co||6||Unlock company profile|
|Patterson Companies Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|Ivoclar Vivadent AG||5||Unlock company profile|
|Montefiore Medical Center||5||Unlock company profile|
|Novartis AG||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Smith & Nephew is the leading patent filer in the AI-assisted surgical imaging systems market. Some other leading patent filers include Johnson & Johnson and Stryker.
In terms of application diversity, Olympus leads the pack, followed by Theator and Medtronic. With regards to geographic reach, Stryker leads, followed by Aris MD, Brain Navi Biotechnology, and Dentsply Sirona.
AI is increasingly transforming surgery practices with technological advancements in imaging, navigation, and robotic intervention. Modern surgery is being transformed by the development of AI towards more autonomous and precise intervention for the treatment of both acute and chronic ailments.
To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.