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 sleep assistants.

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 sleep assistants is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Smart sleep assistants help develop a customised wake-up and sleep schedule. Assistants monitor environmental indicators and sleep quality to identify problems and suggest automatic solutions. It combines a smart light, music machine, morning alarm, wind-down meditations, and alarm clock. It helps you fall asleep, remain asleep, and wake up rejuvenated.

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 smart sleep assistants.

Key players in smart sleep assistants – 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 sleep assistants

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 162 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 47 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 40 Unlock company profile
Liminal Sciences 37 Unlock company profile
Delos Living 33 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 30 Unlock company profile
Apple 28 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 26 Unlock company profile
Bryte Labs 25 Unlock company profile
Happiest Baby 23 Unlock company profile
Advanced Brain Monitoring 22 Unlock company profile
Yamaha 21 Unlock company profile
Nokia 19 Unlock company profile
Dymedix 18 Unlock company profile
Oncomfort 17 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 16 Unlock company profile
LG 15 Unlock company profile
Neuroenhancement Lab 14 Unlock company profile
Sana Health 14 Unlock company profile
InteraXon 13 Unlock company profile
Oracle 13 Unlock company profile
Intel 12 Unlock company profile
Gearbox 12 Unlock company profile
Fresenius & Co 11 Unlock company profile
Smileyscope 11 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 11 Unlock company profile
ResMed 10 Unlock company profile
Apollo Neuroscience 10 Unlock company profile
Intellectual Ventures Management 10 Unlock company profile
British American Tobacco 9 Unlock company profile
Dentsu Group 9 Unlock company profile
Fisher & Paykel Healthcare 9 Unlock company profile
Braintrain 2020 9 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 9 Unlock company profile
Daikin Industries 8 Unlock company profile
SD Biosensor 8 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Group 8 Unlock company profile
Razer 8 Unlock company profile
Thync 8 Unlock company profile
Ebb Therapeutics 8 Unlock company profile
Akili 7 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 7 Unlock company profile
Happify 7 Unlock company profile
Spotify Technology 7 Unlock company profile
ASAN Foundation 7 Unlock company profile
ElMinda 7 Unlock company profile
Dreem 7 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 7 Unlock company profile
Siemens 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patent filers in smart sleep assistants. Some other key patent filers in the field include Samsung Group and Panasonic.

In terms of application diversity, Liminal Sciences leads the pack, followed by InteraXon and Siemens. By means of geographic reach, Liminal Sciences holds the top position, followed by Apple and Oncomfort in second and third spots, respectively.

Smart sleep aids are equipped with a movement-detecting sensor. They can assist in developing a healthy lifestyle by monitoring breathing patterns and change in temperature. Compared to prescription medications, this technology is wireless, portable, and cost-effective.

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.