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: Smart contact lenses.
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
Smart contact lenses is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
Smart contact lenses are a cutting-edge optical innovation designed to maximise human potential. Many smart contact lens initiatives focus on the Augmented Reality (AR) potential of contact lenses on the internet of things in order to give the human eye a computer-like interface.
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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart contact lenses.
Key players in smart contact lenses – 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 smart contact lenses
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Johnson & Johnson||227||Unlock company profile|
|Alphabet||210||Unlock company profile|
|Magic Leap||115||Unlock company profile|
|Sony Group||32||Unlock company profile|
|e-Vision||26||Unlock company profile|
|Menicon||20||Unlock company profile|
|E-Vision Smart Optics||13||Unlock company profile|
|InteraXon||10||Unlock company profile|
|Geelux Holdings||9||Unlock company profile|
|Ubiquity Biomedical||7||Unlock company profile|
|Tangible Science||6||Unlock company profile|
|Ocular Dynamics||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in Smart contact lenses. Some other key patent filers in the field include Alphabet and Magic Leap.
In terms of application diversity, InteraXon leads the pack, followed by Menicon and Magic Leap. By means of geographic reach, Johnson & Johnson holds the top position, followed by Menicon and e-Vision in second and third spots, respectively.
Smart contact lenses can offer various solutions in health and medical monitoring like corneal injury, allergy relief, glucose monitoring, vision correctness, and gaming applications. This technology will enable the user to see in the dark and allow to zoom while looking at the objects.
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.