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: Conversational AI for healthcare.
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
Conversational AI for healthcare is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Conversational AI for healthcare aids to streamline and automate a range of operations by allowing individuals to engage with healthcare practitioners using voice or text-based chatbots and virtual assistants. Chatbots and virtual assistants employ artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), voice technology, and machine learning to automate user interactions.
In healthcare, artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies and systems that detect and comprehend human inputs, respond to these inputs and their context, and even learn to grow better at sensing, understanding, and operating over time. Conversational AI is bringing much-needed digital transformation to the medical business, which may benefit everyone engaged in the healthcare value chain, including patients, healthcare practitioners, administrators, and others.
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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of conversational AI for healthcare.
Key players in conversational AI for healthcare – 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 conversational AI for healthcare
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Microsoft||96||Unlock company profile|
|Stryker||71||Unlock company profile|
|International Business Machines||20||Unlock company profile|
|Baidu||15||Unlock company profile|
|Alphabet||15||Unlock company profile|
|Samsung Group||15||Unlock company profile|
|DNAnudge||11||Unlock company profile|
|Getinge||11||Unlock company profile|
|F. Hoffmann-La Roche||11||Unlock company profile|
|Panasonic||11||Unlock company profile|
|Magic Leap||11||Unlock company profile|
|ODP||10||Unlock company profile|
|Curie AI||10||Unlock company profile|
|Beijing Electronics Holding||8||Unlock company profile|
|ROM Technologies||6||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi||6||Unlock company profile|
|Sysmex||6||Unlock company profile|
|Oracle||6||Unlock company profile|
|Ironwood Medical Information Technologies||6||Unlock company profile|
|Click Therapeutics||5||Unlock company profile|
|Ping An Healthcare And Technology||5||Unlock company profile|
|Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China||5||Unlock company profile|
|Konica Minolta||5||Unlock company profile|
|M2S||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Microsoft is one of the leading patent filers in the field of Conversational AI for healthcare. Some other key patent filers in the field include Stryker and International Business Machines.
In terms of application diversity, Hitachi leads the pack, followed by Stryker and Alphabet. By means of geographic reach, Stryker held the top position, followed by DNAnudge and Magic Leap in second and third spots, respectively.
Conversational AI for healthcare has substantially enhanced healthcare support by automating time-consuming procedures. Healthcare practitioners may now employ AI technology to recognise symptoms, differentiate the most vital patients from the less urgent ones, and plan visits effectively. During patient check-ins, this technology also enables healthcare professionals to collect the essential information. Despite these outstanding technical breakthroughs, there is enormous space for improvement in the healthcare business in terms of AI and other game-changing technology solutions.
To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.