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 Internet of Things in Healthcare: AI-assisted MRI.
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, smart helmets, body temperature sensors, and software as a medical device (SaMD) are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart balloon catheters, point-of-care molecular diagnostics, and automated immunoassay analysers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are smart contact lenses and GPS integrated fitness monitors, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the healthcare industry
AI-assisted MRI is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
AI is intensively used in MRI due to the soft tissue contrast built-in for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the variety of structural and physiological acquisition arrangements, and its diagnostic potential.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted MRI.
Key players in AI-assisted MRI – 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 AI-assisted MRI
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Siemens AG||263||Unlock company profile|
|Heartflow Inc||251||Unlock company profile|
|Koninklijke Philips NV||170||Unlock company profile|
|Canon Inc||87||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba Corp||83||Unlock company profile|
|Samsung Group||79||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi Ltd||73||Unlock company profile|
|General Electric Co||68||Unlock company profile|
|Bayer AG||64||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba Medical Systems NV||35||Unlock company profile|
|Arterys Inc||33||Unlock company profile|
|Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare Co Ltd||32||Unlock company profile|
|Elekta AB||29||Unlock company profile|
|Heuron Co Ltd||24||Unlock company profile|
|Hyperfine Research Inc||24||Unlock company profile|
|BrainLAB AG||24||Unlock company profile|
|Synaptive Medical Inc||23||Unlock company profile|
|Hyperfine Inc||21||Unlock company profile|
|Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris||19||Unlock company profile|
|Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique||17||Unlock company profile|
|Shimadzu Corp||16||Unlock company profile|
|Neurophet Inc||14||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||11||Unlock company profile|
|International Business Machines Corp||9||Unlock company profile|
|Ricoh Co Ltd||9||Unlock company profile|
|Massachusetts General Hospital||9||Unlock company profile|
|Medrad Inc||9||Unlock company profile|
|Omniscient Neurotechnology Pty Ltd||8||Unlock company profile|
|Cedars-Sinai Health System||8||Unlock company profile|
|General Hospital Corp||8||Unlock company profile|
|Dragerwerk AG & Co KGaA||8||Unlock company profile|
|Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services Ltd||8||Unlock company profile|
|The United States Of America||8||Unlock company profile|
|SimBioSys Inc||7||Unlock company profile|
|Fujifilm Holdings Corp||7||Unlock company profile|
|Genetic Innovations Inc||7||Unlock company profile|
|Children's Medical Center||7||Unlock company profile|
|Bracco Injeneering SA||7||Unlock company profile|
|Darmiyan LLC||7||Unlock company profile|
|Oki Electric Industry Co Ltd||6||Unlock company profile|
|Teijin Ltd||6||Unlock company profile|
|Antaros Medical AB||6||Unlock company profile|
|BioProtonics Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|NovoCure Ltd||5||Unlock company profile|
|Beijing SenseTime Technology Development Co., Ltd.||5||Unlock company profile|
|Esaote SpA||5||Unlock company profile|
|Exxellence||5||Unlock company profile|
|PT Soho Global Health Tbk||5||Unlock company profile|
|Acuitas Medical Limited||5||Unlock company profile|
|Shenzhen United Imaging Healthcare Co., Ltd.||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Brain Lab leads the pack, followed by Teijin. With regards to geographic reach, Bracco Injeneering leads, followed by Hyperfine Research and Shenzhen United Imaging Healthcare.
AI can be used for MRI reconstruction, which can offer several advantages, including faster imaging procedures for patients, fewer patient motion artefacts in the images, reduced wait times for patients in hospitals, and accurate diagnoses from radiologists for their patients.
To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Healthcare.