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 Innovation in Healthcare: Endoscopic ultrasound tomography.

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, specimen collection devices, ultrasound imaging system, and automated laboratory systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Biological sampling devices, endoscopic ultrasound tomography, and NMR imaging systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are doppler ultrasound imaging and CT-guided surgery, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the healthcare industry

Endoscopic ultrasound tomography is a key innovation area in healthcare

An endoscopic ultrasound, also known as an EUS, is a diagnostic procedure that combines an endoscopy and an ultrasound in order to take detailed pictures of one or more of the following body parts: the small intestine, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, lymph nodes and bile ducts.

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 endoscopic ultrasound tomography.

Key players in endoscopic ultrasound tomography – 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 endoscopic ultrasound tomography

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Waters 158 Unlock company profile
Intuitive Surgical 115 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 88 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 52 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 37 Unlock company profile
Asensus Surgical 18 Unlock company profile
Olympus 17 Unlock company profile
OtoNexus Medical Technologies 13 Unlock company profile
Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault 12 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 11 Unlock company profile
West View Research 11 Unlock company profile
Xenter 8 Unlock company profile
Gentuity 8 Unlock company profile
Broncus Medical 8 Unlock company profile
Bracco 7 Unlock company profile
AI Medical Service 6 Unlock company profile
MC10 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Waters is one of the leading patent filers in the field of endoscopic ultrasound tomography. Some other key patent filers in the field include Intuitive Surgical and Medtronic.

In terms of application diversity, Waters leads the pack, followed by AI Medical Service and Groupe Industriel Marsel Dassault, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Asensus Surgical held the top position, while Johnson and Johnson, and MC10 are in second and third spots, respectively.

Endoscopic ultrasound tomography is a minimally invasive method in diagnosing and monitoring tissues or changes in various organs. In the past 10 years, technological breakthroughs and advancements have made ultrasound increasingly popular. Upgrades and improved image quality have brought ultrasound to the point-of-care. As healthcare reform favours cost-effective solutions, ultrasound tomography is likely to become standard in all clinics and hospitals.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Healthcare.


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.