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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: Ophthalmic imaging system. Buy the report here.

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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

Ophthalmic imaging system is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Ophthalmic imaging systems provide detailed scans of various parts of the eye, such as the retina, cornea, and choroid, which can be visualised for early detection of eye diseases. These imaging systems have replaced conventional methods of detection of eye diseases and allow a better understanding of the disease.

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 ophthalmic imaging system.

Key players in ophthalmic imaging system – 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 ophthalmic imaging system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nikon 49 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 40 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 39 Unlock Company Profile
Tesseract Health 25 Unlock Company Profile
Eyenuk 16 Unlock Company Profile
Alcon 14 Unlock Company Profile
Topcon 12 Unlock Company Profile
Medi Whale 12 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International 11 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 10 Unlock Company Profile
GEO Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Singapore Health Services 8 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 8 Unlock Company Profile
Translatum Medicus 6 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 6 Unlock Company Profile
Grampian Health Board 6 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 5 Unlock Company Profile
Narayana Nethralaya 5 Unlock Company Profile
EyeKor 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nikon is one of the leading patent filers in the field of ophthalmic imaging systems. Some other key patent filers in the field include Canon and Magic Leap.

In terms of application diversity, Tesseract Health leads the pack, followed by Grampian Health Board and Baxter International. By means of geographic reach, Magic Leap holds the top position, followed by Alcon and Tesseract Health in second and third spots, respectively.

Ophthalmic imaging systems allow diagnosis of a wide range of eye conditions and a better understanding of the disease such as providing efficient treatment solutions. In the future, the advancement in technology along with the integration of AI would help in recognising the prognosis of eye conditions, thus helping to improve patient care.

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

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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.