The healthcare industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by telemedicine, real-time diagnostics, smart hospitals, 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 Internet of Things in Healthcare: Automatic pill dispensers.

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 global positioning system (GPS) integrated fitness monitors, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the healthcare industry

Automatic pill dispenser is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

The organisation, scheduling, and delivery of medications to patients at predetermined or automatically scheduled times can be accomplished using automated pill dispensers or smart pill dispensers without the need for manual interaction.

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 automatic pill dispensers.

Key players in automatic pill dispensers – 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 automatic pill dispensers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Yuyama 121 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 75 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 38 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 37 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 36 Unlock company profile
PerceptiMed 32 Unlock company profile
Viatris 26 Unlock company profile
Omnicell 25 Unlock company profile
MEPS Real-Time 22 Unlock company profile
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals 21 Unlock company profile
Van Humbeck Family 17 Unlock company profile
Hanmi Science 17 Unlock company profile
MedicaSafe 16 Unlock company profile
AptarGroup 16 Unlock company profile
Evondos 15 Unlock company profile
Smiths Group 14 Unlock company profile
Dosentrx 13 Unlock company profile
B. Braun Melsungen 13 Unlock company profile
Healthbeacon 13 Unlock company profile
Medimi 13 Unlock company profile
Emerson Electric 13 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 11 Unlock company profile
Novartis 11 Unlock company profile
GoFire 9 Unlock company profile
Abiogenix 9 Unlock company profile
Access Business Group International 9 Unlock company profile
INRange Systems 8 Unlock company profile
Wiegand 8 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 8 Unlock company profile
RxAdvance 8 Unlock company profile
PHC Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Aquestive Therapeutics 7 Unlock company profile
Stiplastics 7 Unlock company profile
Partners Pharmacy 7 Unlock company profile
Target 7 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 7 Unlock company profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 7 Unlock company profile
Global Tel*Link 6 Unlock company profile
Cardinal Health 6 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Edge Medical Properties 6 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 6 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 5 Unlock company profile
Longevity Health Group 5 Unlock company profile
Dose Health 5 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco 5 Unlock company profile
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics 5 Unlock company profile
Global Telstarlink 5 Unlock company profile
AmerisourceBergen 5 Unlock company profile
ODP 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Yuyama is one of the leading patent filers in the field of automatic pill dispensers. Some other key patent filers in the field include Becton Dickinson and Koninklijke Philips.

In terms of application diversity, GoFire leads the pack, followed by Viatris and F. Hoffmann-La Roche, respectively. By means of geographic reach, GoFire held the top position, while Access Business Group International and Wiegand occupied second and third spots, respectively.

The automatic pill dispenser market is anticipated to grow in future because it is inexpensive, simple to use and provides value to both the patient and the provider. It will enhance the efficiency in dispensing as well as avoid human error. These devices help patients to get the desired dosage as per prescription and avoid the chances of wrong-dosing-related adverse events.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in 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.