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 Genomics in Healthcare: Fluorescence flow cytometry.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 443,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the healthcare industry, there are 200+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Fluorescence flow cytometry is a key innovation area in genomics

Fluorescence flow cytometry (FFC) is a technique used to examine chemical and physiological characteristics of cells. It offers details on cell size and structure. Using fluorescence flow cytometers, individual cell type can be separated from the multiple types of cells. These single cells further can be analysed for genomic analysis.

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 fluorescence flow cytometry.

Key players in fluorescence flow cytometry – 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 fluorescence flow cytometry

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Omni MedSci 74 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 64 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 28 Unlock company profile
Steris 26 Unlock company profile
PT Soho Global Health 24 Unlock company profile
SamanTree Medical 15 Unlock company profile
Konica Minolta 15 Unlock company profile
Fio 13 Unlock company profile
Novartis 12 Unlock company profile
ChipCare 12 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 11 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 9 Unlock company profile
Sysmex 8 Unlock company profile
Agriculture Victoria Services 7 Unlock company profile
Hi 7 Unlock company profile
Hamamatsu Photonics 6 Unlock company profile
MilkStrip 5 Unlock company profile
3M 5 Unlock company profile
Shimadzu 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Omni MedSci is one of the leading patent filers in the market for fluorescence flow cytometry systems. Some other key patent filers in the field include Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson leads the pack, followed by Alphabet and Medtronic. By means of geographic reach, Johnson & Johnson held the top position, followed by Agriculture Victoria Services and 3M in second and third spots, respectively.

Fluorescence flow cytometers are used to separate the specific type of cells based on the surface markers. The single cells are further subjected to genomic analysis such as DNA sequencing, RNAseq, CHIPseq, and Microarrays. Sequencing data can be used in personalised medicine, identifying the genetic defects in individuals, and recognising genetic risk factors for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease. Fluorescence flow cytometers have provided the ability for biologists to separate multiple cells with specific features based on cell size and surface marker. This technique is contributing significantly to healthcare research. Flow cytometry has applications in the study of infectious diseases, cancer biology, molecular biology, bacteriology, and virology.

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.