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: Inhalation dose metering.

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

Inhalation dose metering is a key innovation area in healthcare

A metered-dose inhaler is a compact, hand-held device that contains medication and is used to treat respiratory issues. It aids in the delivery of medication via your mouth and into your lungs. It is often used to treat asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory conditions that cause difficulty in breathing. The metered dosage inhaler is a plastic container with a mouthpiece that houses a pressurised canister of medication. When sprayed, it delivers a constant and predictable amount of medicine.

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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of inhalation dose metering.

Key players in inhalation dose metering – 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 inhalation dose metering

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 219 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco 179 Unlock company profile
Syqe Medical 77 Unlock company profile
Pneuma Respiratory 77 Unlock company profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 49 Unlock company profile
AptarGroup 44 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 38 Unlock company profile
JUUL Labs 30 Unlock company profile
Grupo Ferrer Internacional 23 Unlock company profile
Beyond Twenty 22 Unlock company profile
Japan Tobacco 21 Unlock company profile
Trudell Medical International 20 Unlock company profile
Luna Innovations 20 Unlock company profile
Pneumoflex Systems 16 Unlock company profile
Cipla 15 Unlock company profile
Adherium 15 Unlock company profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 15 Unlock company profile
Chiesi Farmaceutici 14 Unlock company profile
ResMed 13 Unlock company profile
Science Group 13 Unlock company profile
General Hospital 12 Unlock company profile
Somniferum Labs 11 Unlock company profile
Imperial Brands 10 Unlock company profile
Cognita Labs 10 Unlock company profile
MannKind 10 Unlock company profile
Airgraft 9 Unlock company profile
Mclean Hospital 9 Unlock company profile
MicroBase Technology 8 Unlock company profile
Philip Morris International 8 Unlock company profile
AYR 8 Unlock company profile
Inspiro Medical 8 Unlock company profile 7 Unlock company profile
Heitkamp & Thumann KG 7 Unlock company profile
Indose 7 Unlock company profile
JJ 206 7 Unlock company profile
Metall Zug 6 Unlock company profile
Omega Life Science 5 Unlock company profile
Sensirion 5 Unlock company profile
ODP 5 Unlock company profile
GSK 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is one of the leading patent filers in the field of inhalation dose metering. Some other key patent filers in the field include British American Tobacco, Pneuma Respiratory, Syqe Medical and Massachusetts General Hospital.

In terms of application diversity, Omega Life Science leads the pack, followed by C. H. Boehringer Sohn and Syqe Medical, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries held the top position, with Massachusetts General Hospital and Metal Zug in second and third spots, respectively.

Metered dosage inhalers (MDI) have provided a flexible, dependable, instantly available, self-contained, portable, low-cost medical aerosol delivery device.

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.