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: Clinical data management systems.

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

Clinical data management systems is a key innovation area in cloud

A clinical data management system is technology used in clinical research to organise and store voluminous amounts of data from clinical trials. CDMS employs many ways to evaluate clinical data and decrease errors caused by a human during manual data entry.

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 clinical data management systems.

Key players in clinical data management systems – 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 clinical data management systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Enlitic 57 Unlock company profile
Apple 56 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 49 Unlock company profile
Accenture 21 Unlock company profile
Drishti Technologies 18 Unlock company profile
Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson 14 Unlock company profile
Oracle 13 Unlock company profile
Allscripts Healthcare Solutions 13 Unlock company profile
Intertrust Technologies 12 Unlock company profile
Sorcero 11 Unlock company profile
DexCom 11 Unlock company profile
Masimo 10 Unlock company profile
Siemens 10 Unlock company profile
General Electric 10 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 9 Unlock company profile
Horiba 9 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 9 Unlock company profile
Akili 8 Unlock company profile
Teladoc Health 8 Unlock company profile
Heartflow 7 Unlock company profile
AstraZeneca 7 Unlock company profile
IQVIA Holdings 7 Unlock company profile
Fio 7 Unlock company profile
DNAnudge 6 Unlock company profile
Crf Box 6 Unlock company profile
CVS Health 6 Unlock company profile
Medicomp Systems 6 Unlock company profile
Goodmark Medical International 6 Unlock company profile
Sysmex 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Enlitic is the leading patent filer in the clinical data management market. Some other leading patent filers include Apple and Baxter International.

In terms of application diversity, Enlitic leads the pack, followed by Masimo and DexCom. By means of geographic reach, Baxter International held the top position, followed by Akili and Heartflow in second and third spots, respectively.

One of the biggest issues that clinical data management must deal with is the massive quantity of information. The future of clinical data administration is expected to be completely automated with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. It will improve both the medication development process and the data quality.

To further understand how Cloud is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Cloud Computing in Healthcare - 2021.


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.