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 decision analysis.

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 decision analysis is a key innovation area in cloud

Clinical decision analysis is a tool that enables users to take objective clinical decisions by applying medicine based on evidence during complicated situations. It identifies the environmental variables that must be addressed while making a clinical decision.

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 140+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of clinical decision analysis.

Key players in clinical decision analysis – 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 decision analysis

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
International Business Machines 354 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 290 Unlock company profile
Microsoft 152 Unlock company profile 142 Unlock company profile
Extreme Networks 136 Unlock company profile
BostonGene 84 Unlock company profile
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China 83 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 75 Unlock company profile
Siemens 68 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 67 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 65 Unlock company profile
Nintendo 65 Unlock company profile
Aliphcom 63 Unlock company profile
Baidu 62 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 62 Unlock company profile
Enlitic 57 Unlock company profile
Oracle 55 Unlock company profile
Expanse Bioinformatics 52 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 49 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 43 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 41 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 41 Unlock company profile
Canon 38 Unlock company profile
Bruin Biometrics 37 Unlock company profile
3M 37 Unlock company profile
Tencent Holdings 36 Unlock company profile
DexCom 32 Unlock company profile
SoftBank Group 31 Unlock company profile
Cota 31 Unlock company profile
General Electric 28 Unlock company profile
Bayer 26 Unlock company profile
Smiths Group 25 Unlock company profile
EcoSense Lighting 25 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 24 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 23 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 23 Unlock company profile
Accenture 21 Unlock company profile
Apple 21 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 20 Unlock company profile
Ping An Healthcare And Technology 19 Unlock company profile
IQVIA Holdings 19 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 17 Unlock company profile
TytoCare 17 Unlock company profile
Babylon Partners 16 Unlock company profile
Philip Morris International 16 Unlock company profile
Eyenuk 16 Unlock company profile
BlackBerry 16 Unlock company profile
FRONTEO 15 Unlock company profile
Huawei Investment & Holding 15 Unlock company profile
DATCARD SYSTEMS 15 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

International Business Machines (IBM) is the leading patent filer in the clinical decision analysis market. Some other leading patent filers include Koninklijke Philips and Microsoft.

In terms of application diversity, Extreme Networks leads the pack, followed by Eyenuk and Enlitic. By means of geographic reach, 3M held the top position, followed by Bayer and Bruin Biometrics in second and third spots, respectively.

The primary purpose of clinical decision analysis is to provide healthcare professionals with accurate and timely information. Clinical decision analysis utilising decision trees may only be utilised as a guide, not as a result. Additional research must be conducted to determine the approach's advantages and disadvantages to be used in other healthcare sectors.

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.