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: Robotic surgery systems. Buy the report here.

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

Robotic surgery systems is a key innovation area in cloud

Robotic surgery enables medical professionals to carry out a variety of high-precision, flexible and controlled complex procedures, making it more feasible than conventional techniques. Also called robot-assisted surgery, robotic surgery gives surgeons the ability to perform a variety of minimally invasive surgical operations by using computer and software technology to control and move surgical tools through one or more small incisions in the patient's body.

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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of robotic surgery systems.

Key players in robotic surgery 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 robotic surgery systems

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 1114 Unlock company profile
Heartflow 333 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 237 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 208 Unlock company profile
Stryker 170 Unlock company profile
Smith & Nephew 143 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 103 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 94 Unlock company profile
Synaptive Medical 86 Unlock company profile
Kardium 76 Unlock company profile
Intuitive Surgical 72 Unlock company profile
Olympus 57 Unlock company profile
Magic Leap 45 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 44 Unlock company profile
Theator 42 Unlock company profile
Siemens 42 Unlock company profile
Zimmer Biomet Holdings 33 Unlock company profile
Vektor Medical 24 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 24 Unlock company profile
Globus Medical 20 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 20 Unlock company profile
Omni MedSci 20 Unlock company profile
Acutus Medical 19 Unlock company profile
Medlumics 18 Unlock company profile
Waters 18 Unlock company profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 16 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 16 Unlock company profile
BrainLAB 15 Unlock company profile
Horizon Technology Finance 15 Unlock company profile
Creo Medical Group 14 Unlock company profile
Crisalix 14 Unlock company profile
Monteris Medical 14 Unlock company profile
Respiratory Technology 14 Unlock company profile
CIRCA Scientific 13 Unlock company profile
Align Technology 10 Unlock company profile
Spine Align 10 Unlock company profile
Asensus Surgical 10 Unlock company profile
Surgical Theater 9 Unlock company profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 9 Unlock company profile
Sofradim Production 8 Unlock company profile
Medicaroid 8 Unlock company profile
3mensio Medical Imaging 8 Unlock company profile
Shifamed 8 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 7 Unlock company profile
Lensar 7 Unlock company profile
Elucent Medical 7 Unlock company profile
Gynesonics 7 Unlock company profile
Galgo Medical 7 Unlock company profile
Hologic 6 Unlock company profile
Micrima 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in the field of robotic surgery systems. Some other key patent filers in the field include Heartflow, Medtronic, Koninklijke Philips, and Stryker.

In terms of application diversity, Magic Leap leads the pack, followed by Waters and Creo Medical Group in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Creo Medical Group held the top position, followed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Becton Dickinson in the second and third spots, respectively.

The scope of robotic surgery systems has increased widely over the past few years. The cloud-based technology helps to collect and store patient-specific data for future reference along with improvement in the accuracy of the surgery. The robotic surgery system not only translates into better surgical outcomes but also provides better cancer control, lesser blood loss, fewer complications, less pain, and faster recovery. This has made surgeries safer and more precise, resulting in advancement in gynaecological, cancer, and urological-prostate surgeries.

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.