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: Fitness monitoring & gamification.
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
Fitness monitoring & gamification is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
An activity tracker, often known as a fitness tracker, is a tool or software programme for keeping track of fitness-related metrics such as calories burned, distance walked or run, and in some cases, heart rate. The inclusion of game-like aspects to fitness activities such as daily workouts, exercise routines, and strength training is known as fitness gamification. Fitness tracking apps such as pedometers that measure progress and reward users for meeting objectives and milestones are frequently used to implement gamified fitness.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of fitness monitoring & gamification.
Key players in fitness monitoring & gamification – 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 fitness monitoring & gamification
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
NIKE is one of the leading patent filers in the market for fitness monitoring & gamification. Some other key patent filers in the field include adidas and Koninklijke Philips. In terms of application diversity, MTG leads the pack, followed by Spotify Technology and Motorika. By means of geographic reach, Nokia held the top position, followed by NIKE and GyroGear in second and third spots, respectively.
Gamification has attracted sportspersons toward fitness monitoring devices. Gamification can be done in the form of a social-based, reward-based, or goal-based approach. Once the goal is complete, the user gets the points or rewards which can be redeemed for a particular gift. Gamification features would enhance the market of fitness monitoring devices. Individuals are more likely to continue the relevant physical activities to maintain or achieve specific goals. Gamification can be used to create a community of fitness monitoring device users, which follow the common goals to complete the objectives associated with the health parameters.
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.