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: Connected blood sampling devices.

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

Connected blood sampling devices is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Blood sampling devices stay connected via a system called radio-frequency identification (RFID). RFID blood monitoring system helps to monitor donated blood in hospitals and blood banks. Each unit of blood in the RFID system has an electronic tag attached to it that carries data on the donor, the blood group it belongs to, and other details, as well as the place where the blood was kept or analysed. It aids medical professionals in keeping track of various blood group types and ensuring their availability in hospitals when required.

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 510+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of connected blood sampling devices.

Key players in connected blood sampling devices – 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 connected blood sampling devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Medtronic 1053 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 956 Unlock company profile
NIKE 802 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 675 Unlock company profile
Abbott Laboratories 663 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 593 Unlock company profile
DexCom 580 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 433 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 367 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 309 Unlock company profile
Sanofi 258 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 236 Unlock company profile
Boston Scientific 219 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 214 Unlock company profile
Smith & Nephew 211 Unlock company profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 203 Unlock company profile
ResMed 202 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 197 Unlock company profile
Apple 196 Unlock company profile
Stryker 193 Unlock company profile
adidas 189 Unlock company profile
Omron 156 Unlock company profile
Bigfoot Biomedical 148 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 146 Unlock company profile
Magic Leap 137 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 129 Unlock company profile
Fresenius & Co 128 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 128 Unlock company profile
Aseko 116 Unlock company profile
B. Braun Melsungen 116 Unlock company profile
Asahi Kasei 115 Unlock company profile
Platinum Equity 105 Unlock company profile
FitStar Labs 102 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 101 Unlock company profile
Polar Electro 100 Unlock company profile
Aliphcom 100 Unlock company profile
Intuitive Surgical 97 Unlock company profile
Novartis 94 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 93 Unlock company profile
Valencell 93 Unlock company profile
Bayer 91 Unlock company profile
Align Technology 87 Unlock company profile
Synaptive Medical 85 Unlock company profile
Hygieia 85 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 83 Unlock company profile
PHC Holdings 82 Unlock company profile
Smart Eye 81 Unlock company profile
Akili 80 Unlock company profile
General Electric 80 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 66 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Medtronic is one of the leading patent filers in the field of connected blood sampling devices. Some other key patent filers in the field include Koninklijke Philips, NIKE and F. Hoffmann-La Roche.

In terms of application diversity, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries leads the pack, followed by Platinum Equity and ResMed. By means of geographic reach, Platinum Equity held the top position, followed by Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries and Bayer in second and third spots, respectively.

The main aspect boosting demand for connected blood sampling devices is their numerous advantages over traditional blood tracking and monitoring techniques, such as barcodes, minimising human error and simplifying the regulation of clinical data in healthcare inventories. Future usage of these devices is projected to rise because of a centralised platform that enables medical practitioners to actively monitor blood data and an increase in the deployment of RFID blood monitoring systems by blood banks and hospitals.

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.


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.