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: GPS integrated fitness monitors.

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

GPS integrated fitness monitors is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Fitness trackers (wearable) with a GPS tracker can monitor and track location as well as walking/running paths. With artificial intelligence, data generated from fitness trackers can be analysed to generate meaningful insight.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of GPS integrated fitness monitors.

Key players in GPS integrated fitness monitors – 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 GPS integrated fitness monitors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
adidas 124 Unlock company profile
NIKE 96 Unlock company profile
Meta Platforms 35 Unlock company profile
Technikka Conexion 31 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 17 Unlock company profile
Casio Computer 13 Unlock company profile
Skyhawke Technologies 12 Unlock company profile
Intel 11 Unlock company profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 9 Unlock company profile
Project X 8 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

adidas is one of the leading patent filers in the market for GPS-integrated fitness monitors. Some other key patent filers in the field include NIKE and Meta Platforms. In terms of application diversity, Alphabet leads the pack, followed by Meta Platforms and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung. By means of geographic reach, Meta Platforms held the top position, followed by NIKE and Project X in the second and third spots, respectively.

Fitness trackers can monitor the activity of a person in real-time and help in recording data. Data generated from these devices get stored in the cloud or local servers. Using the fitness data, artificial intelligence can be used to get the key activity indicators for a person and recommendations can be provided to the person according to the aim, such as weight reduction or calorie burnout, etc. The fitness tracker with GPS market has great potential to grow. As healthcare awareness increases among the masses, the need to monitor fitness indicators would possibly increase the demand for the GPS integrated fitness trackers.

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