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: Smart helmets.
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
Smart helmets is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
A smart helmet is a protective headgear used while riding a bicycle or motorcycle. It gives the user exceptional levels of safety and complete access to their phone. The product's purpose is to offer safety by delivering information about the surroundings utilising technology and allowing the user to access phone functions using his or her voice.
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 smart helmets.
Key players in smart helmets – 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 smart helmets
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Cleveland Clinic Foundation||54||Unlock company profile|
|Brg Sports||14||Unlock company profile|
|Apple||14||Unlock company profile|
|International Business Machines||11||Unlock company profile|
|AT&T||10||Unlock company profile|
|MC10||7||Unlock company profile|
|Systex||7||Unlock company profile|
|Ford Motor||7||Unlock company profile|
|2nd Skull||6||Unlock company profile|
|BlackBox Biometrics||6||Unlock company profile|
|FUSAR Technologies||6||Unlock company profile|
|Beijing Electronics Holding||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Cleveland Clinic is one of the leading patent filers in smart helmets. Some other key patent filers in the field include Apple, Brg Sports, and International Business Machines.
In terms of application diversity, 2nd Skull leads the pack, followed by Apple and Systex. By means of geographic reach, Cleveland Clinic holds the top position, followed by Ford Motor and Systex in second and third spots, respectively.
Smart helmets use various sensors which in turn have advantages like the detection of accidents, detecting nearby vehicles, alcohol consumption, quick alerting system, etc. In the future, voice commands can be used to operate the fundamental bike features. Artificial intelligence can be used to create self-driving motorcycles in the future, keeping the rider safe and preventing accidents.
To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.