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 Internet of Things in Healthcare: Connected fitness 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 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
Connected fitness devices is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
A user's fitness is tracked via connected fitness gadgets, which is equipment or software that continuously monitors and analyses their workouts in real time. They are also used to create customised training programs that boost performance and enhance user form. These programs are tracked using the connected fitness devices which allow the user to view how well they are doing over time, from a variety of factors.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of connected fitness devices.
Key players in connected fitness 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 fitness devices
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Peloton Interactive is one of the leading patent filers in the field of connected fitness devices. Some other key patent filers in the field include NIKE, Toyota Motor, iFIT Health & Fitness, and Teijin.
In terms of application diversity, Motorika leads the pack, followed by EW Healthcare Partners and Toyota Motor. By means of geographic reach, Amer Sports held the top position, followed by EW Healthcare Partners and NIKE in second and third spots, respectively.
Connected fitness devices are transforming how people workout by offering an ideal choice for maintaining health with personalised solutions. These AI-enabled devices have the potential to provide a variety of health solutions for food and nutrition, sleep, and mindfulness in addition to monitoring and analysing health data to improve users' fitness levels.
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.