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 Robotics in Healthcare: Automated drug dispensing 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, microfluidic devices, static computer-aided implant surgery (s-CAIS), and digital pathology guided robotic surgery are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Interactive exercise system, computer-aided dental prostheses, and automated genetic screening are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas is the automated drug dispensing systems, which is now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for robotics in the healthcare industry
Automated drug dispensing systems is a key innovation area in robotics
Automated drug dispensing systems are decentralised drug delivery systems that offer computer-controlled medication tracking, storage, and dispensing. The systems have been suggested as a viable method to boost productivity and patient safety. These machines are now commonly utilised in many hospitals.
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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated drug dispensing systems.
Key players in automated drug dispensing 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 automated drug dispensing systems
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Becton Dickinson and Co||242||Unlock company profile|
|Yuyama Co Ltd||146||Unlock company profile|
|Omnicell Inc||133||Unlock company profile|
|RxSafe, LLC||61||Unlock company profile|
|Van Humbeck Family||44||Unlock company profile|
|Hero Health, Inc.||37||Unlock company profile|
|Takazono Corporation||34||Unlock company profile|
|Hanmi Science Co Ltd||31||Unlock company profile|
|Coca-Cola Enterprises Great Britain Limited||30||Unlock company profile|
|CVS Health Corp||27||Unlock company profile|
|Evondos Oy||25||Unlock company profile|
|Cardinal Health Inc||20||Unlock company profile|
|PCAS Patient Care Automation Services, Inc.||18||Unlock company profile|
|McKesson Corp||17||Unlock company profile|
|PHC Holdings Corp||16||Unlock company profile|
|PerceptiMed Inc||16||Unlock company profile|
|AmerisourceBergen Corp||15||Unlock company profile|
|Asteres Inc||15||Unlock company profile|
|Touchpoint Medical Inc||14||Unlock company profile|
|Koninklijke Philips NV||12||Unlock company profile|
|DAYA Medicals, Inc.||11||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||10||Unlock company profile|
|Fujifilm Holdings Corp||10||Unlock company profile|
|Envision Air Service LLC||10||Unlock company profile|
|TKH Group NV||9||Unlock company profile|
|Pillo Inc||9||Unlock company profile|
|Access Business Group International Llc||9||Unlock company profile|
|Express Scripts Insurance Company||8||Unlock company profile|
|Health Enhancement Research Organization||8||Unlock company profile|
|AptarGroup Inc||8||Unlock company profile|
|Wiegand AG||8||Unlock company profile|
|Bayer AG||8||Unlock company profile|
|MEPS Real-Time Inc.||8||Unlock company profile|
|InterMetro Industries Corporation||8||Unlock company profile|
|Biolog-id SAS||7||Unlock company profile|
|Immunovative Therapies Ltd||7||Unlock company profile|
|B. Braun Melsungen AG||7||Unlock company profile|
|Capsa Healthcare||7||Unlock company profile|
|Avery Dennison Corp||6||Unlock company profile|
|Cerx Pharmacy Partners, LP||6||Unlock company profile|
|Sanofi||6||Unlock company profile|
|Omron Corp||6||Unlock company profile|
|Merck & Co Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|MedicaSafe Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|Telepharmacy Solutions, Inc.||6||Unlock company profile|
|Tranquility Group Pty Ltd||6||Unlock company profile|
|Synergie Medicale Brg Inc||6||Unlock company profile|
|Dose Health LLC||5||Unlock company profile|
|Remedi Technology Holdings LLC||5||Unlock company profile|
|Distributrices Medicales BHL Inc||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Fujifilm leads the pack, followed by Dose Health and Health Enhancement Research Organization, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Access Business Group International held the top position, followed by Wiegand and B. Braun Melsungen in second and third spots, respectively.
As the dispensing function is moved to the perioperative environment, the practitioner’s role is now more heavily centred on monitoring the restricted medication inventory, including all returns, refilling, and reordering. They also have accessible pharmaceutical storage at the point of care. Additionally, dispensing cabinets are a fantastic management tool since they offer reports and data analytics on medicine supplies and consumption, which produce insights to enable more accurate budgeting and inventory management.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Healthcare.