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: Non-invasive physiological monitoring.

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

Non-invasive physiological monitoring is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Non-invasive physiological monitoring involves utilising non-invasive equipment, like an external camera or a wristband, to track a person's heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. These gadgets enable remote alert generation to the concerned parties. In addition to offering a real-time check on a person's health, these gadgets have taken the place of the requirement for frequent monitoring of numerous body markers.

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 non-invasive physiological monitoring.

Key players in non-invasive physiological monitoring – 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 non-invasive physiological monitoring

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 927 Unlock company profile
Heartflow 483 Unlock company profile
Siemens 327 Unlock company profile
Canon 314 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 233 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 205 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 160 Unlock company profile
Waters 158 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 152 Unlock company profile
General Electric 149 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 137 Unlock company profile
Magic Leap 119 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 111 Unlock company profile
Enlitic 95 Unlock company profile
Intuitive Surgical 95 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 95 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 87 Unlock company profile
CathWorks 82 Unlock company profile
Toshiba Medical Systems 62 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 54 Unlock company profile
Acutus Medical 52 Unlock company profile
Terumo 48 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 46 Unlock company profile
EBM 46 Unlock company profile
Hologic 43 Unlock company profile
Dentsply Sirona 43 Unlock company profile
Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics 42 Unlock company profile
Everist Genomics 42 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 36 Unlock company profile
Olympus 36 Unlock company profile
Nihon Kohden 35 Unlock company profile
Stryker 34 Unlock company profile
Mallinckrodt 34 Unlock company profile
Synaptive Medical 30 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 30 Unlock company profile
Asahi Kasei 29 Unlock company profile
JointVue 29 Unlock company profile
Mayo Clinic 29 Unlock company profile
Leman Micro Devices 29 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 28 Unlock company profile
Gearbox 27 Unlock company profile
Seno Medical Instruments 26 Unlock company profile
NovaSignal 25 Unlock company profile
Endra 23 Unlock company profile
Echosens 23 Unlock company profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 23 Unlock company profile
UNEX 23 Unlock company profile
4DMedical 22 Unlock company profile
Konica Minolta 22 Unlock company profile
Biotronik 22 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in the field of non-invasive physiological monitoring. Some other key patent filers in the field include Heartflow and Siemens.

In terms of application diversity, Enlitic leads the pack, followed by Mallinckrodt and International Business Machines. By means of geographic reach, Becton Dickinson holds the top position, followed by Everist Genomics and Intuitive Surgical in second and third spots, respectively.

A developing diagnostic technique called non-invasive physiological monitoring has the potential to take the place of manual monitoring of bodily functions including blood pressure and heart rate. Artificial intelligence with cutting-edge physiological monitoring equipment would lessen the need for patient hospitalisations and ease the workload of healthcare staff.

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.