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 Innovation in Healthcare: NMR imaging systems.
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, specimen collection devices, ultrasound imaging system, and automated laboratory systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Biological sampling devices, endoscopic ultrasound tomography, and NMR imaging systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are doppler ultrasound imaging and CT-guided surgery, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the healthcare industry
NMR imaging systems is a key innovation area in healthcare
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a technique using which nuclei exposed in an electromagnetic field and excited with photons produce electromagnetic signals. The photons are then re-emitted from the nuclei to produce the structure of the sample molecule. NMR is used for quality control, determining the purity and molecular structure of the sample.
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 NMR imaging systems.
Key players in NMR imaging systems – 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 NMR imaging systems
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Heartflow||247||Unlock company profile|
|Koninklijke Philips||224||Unlock company profile|
|Siemens||187||Unlock company profile|
|Samsung Group||84||Unlock company profile|
|Hitachi||39||Unlock company profile|
|Bayer||36||Unlock company profile|
|Arterys||33||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba||33||Unlock company profile|
|Hyperfine||28||Unlock company profile|
|Hyperfine Research||24||Unlock company profile|
|Canon||24||Unlock company profile|
|Elekta||23||Unlock company profile|
|General Electric||20||Unlock company profile|
|Neurophet||14||Unlock company profile|
|Synaptive Medical||14||Unlock company profile|
|Toshiba Medical Systems||14||Unlock company profile|
|Heuron||13||Unlock company profile|
|LVIS||12||Unlock company profile|
|Massachusetts General Hospital||10||Unlock company profile|
|Alphabet||10||Unlock company profile|
|Omniscient Neurotechnology||8||Unlock company profile|
|Tel Hashomer Medical Research Infrastructure and Services||8||Unlock company profile|
|General Hospital||7||Unlock company profile|
|Bracco Injeneering||7||Unlock company profile|
|Darmiyan||7||Unlock company profile|
|United States Of America||7||Unlock company profile|
|Medtronic||6||Unlock company profile|
|Antaros Medical||6||Unlock company profile|
|Cedars-Sinai Health System||5||Unlock company profile|
|Esaote||5||Unlock company profile|
|Exxellence||5||Unlock company profile|
|Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique||5||Unlock company profile|
|Acuitas Medical||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Heartflow is one of the leading patent filers in the field of NMR imaging systems. Some other key patent filers in the field include Koninklijke Philips and Siemens.
In terms of application diversity, Heartflow leads the pack, followed by Alphabet and Neurophet. By means of geographic reach, Bracco Injeneering holds the top position, followed by Hyperfine Research and Bayer in second and third spots, respectively.
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging systems have wide range of applications including drug discovery and development, cancer diagnosis and food quality control. Technological advancements would allow NMR instruments to be cheaper, more clinically compatible and easier to maintain. NMR technology-based metabolomics profile has the potential to allow efficient evaluation of patients using magnetic resonance imaging scanners.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Healthcare.