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 Internet of Things in Healthcare: AI-assisted EHR

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, smart helmets, body temperature sensors, and software as a medical device (SaMD) are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart balloon catheters, point-of-care molecular diagnostics, and automated immunoassay analysers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are smart contact lenses and global positioning system (GPS) integrated fitness monitors, which are now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the healthcare industry 

AI-assisted EHR is a key innovation area in Internet of Things 

Electronic health records (EHRs) use AI largely to improve data search, extraction, and individualised treatment recommendations. IoT in electronic health record systems uses AI to collect records and datasets. AI techniques are widely used to build analytical representations and clinical decision support systems. Clinical decision support systems consider each element before recommending a therapy, lifestyle, and care plan to patients. 

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 200+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted EHR. 

Key players in AI-assisted EHR – 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 EHR

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
International Business Machines 387 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 292 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 142 Unlock company profile
Siemens 116 Unlock company profile
Oracle 90 Unlock company profile
BostonGene 84 Unlock company profile
Nintendo 68 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 65 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 64 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 64 Unlock company profile
Aliphcom 63 Unlock company profile
IQVIA Holdings 61 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 60 Unlock company profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 59 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 58 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 58 Unlock company profile
Bayer 58 Unlock company profile
Enlitic 57 Unlock company profile
Apple 55 Unlock company profile
Bluefin Payment Systems 53 Unlock company profile
3M 46 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 42 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 41 Unlock company profile
Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault 41 Unlock company profile
Accenture 40 Unlock company profile
General Electric 39 Unlock company profile
Bruin Biometrics 37 Unlock company profile
Baidu 36 Unlock company profile
UCB 36 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 35 Unlock company profile
PHC Holdings 34 Unlock company profile
DexCom 33 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 33 Unlock company profile
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions 33 Unlock company profile
DNAnudge 32 Unlock company profile
Universal Research Solutions 31 Unlock company profile
Cota 31 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 30 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 27 Unlock company profile
AT&T 25 Unlock company profile
23andMe Holding 23 Unlock company profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise 23 Unlock company profile
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 22 Unlock company profile
Straumann Holding 21 Unlock company profile
Tencent Holdings 19 Unlock company profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 19 Unlock company profile
Salesforce 18 Unlock company profile
Bio-Rad Laboratories 18 Unlock company profile
Drishti Technologies 18 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 18 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

International Business Machines is the leading patent filer in the AI-assisted EHR. Some other leading patent filers include Koninklijke Philips and Microsoft

In terms of application diversity, Enlitic leads, followed by Aliphcom and Bruin Biometrics. With regards to geographic reach, Bio-Rad Laboratories leads, followed by Bayer and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) 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.