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: Clinical decision analysis.
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
Clinical decision analysis is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Clinical decision analysis is a tool that enables users to take objective clinical decisions by applying medicine based on evidence during complicated situations. It identifies the environmental variables that must be addressed while making a clinical decision.
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 140+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of clinical decision analysis.
Key players in clinical decision analysis – 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 clinical decision analysis
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
International Business Machines (IBM) is the leading patent filer in the clinical decision analysis market. Some other leading patent filers include Koninklijke Philips and Microsoft.
In terms of application diversity, Extreme Networks leads the pack, followed by Eyenuk and Enlitic. By means of geographic reach, 3M held the top position, followed by Bayer and Bruin Biometrics in second and third spots, respectively.
The main objective of clinical decision analysis is to provide accurate and timely information to healthcare workers. Clinical decision analysis based on decision trees could be used as a reference and not as an outcome. The approach must be further investigated for its strengths and limitations so that it can be easily used in across healthcare in the future.
To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on AI in Healthcare - 2021.