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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, 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 Cloud in Healthcare: AI-enabled wearable interfaces.  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, software as a medical device (SaMD), AR/VR medical imaging interfaces, and automated clinical documentation are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Medical image display devices, 3d modelling and rendering, and AI-assisted EHR are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are wearable fitness monitors and medical device secure data transmission, which are now well established in the industry.  

Innovation S-curve for cloud in the healthcare industry

AI-enabled wearable interfaces is a key innovation area in cloud 

Wearable technology is a blanket term for electronic devices that can be worn on the body, either as an accessory (like a Fitbit or smartwatch or a pair of glasses) or as part of the material used in clothing (such as sportswear that measures biometrics). They are intended to gather users’ data on personal health and exercise, which can be sent to a doctor or other healthcare professional in real time. 

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 AI-enabled wearable interfaces. 

Key players in AI-enabled wearable interfaces – 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 AI-enabled wearable interfaces

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Enlitic 93 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft 93 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 71 Unlock Company Profile
Magic Leap 45 Unlock Company Profile
NIKE 40 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 39 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 19 Unlock Company Profile
InnerEye 14 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hologic 9 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 8 Unlock Company Profile
Wacom 8 Unlock Company Profile
CEA 8 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Intelligence 5 Unlock Company Profile
Meta Platforms 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Microsoft and Enlitic are the leading patent filer in the cloud AI-enabled wearable interfaces. Some other leading patent filers include Stryker and Magic Leap

In terms of application diversity, Stryker leads the pack, followed by Shanghai United Imaging Intelligence, Intel and Boston Scientific. With regards to geographic reach, Stryker held the top position, followed by NIKE and Wacom. 

Cloud computing promotes cost savings, scalability, and system flexibility with the increased use of cloud assisted medical collaboration. Healthcare payers particularly benefit from cloud computing as it can reduce costs and facilitate customer interaction which has exponentially increased the demand for cloud computed healthcare solutions. 

To further understand how Cloud is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing 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.