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 Robotics in Healthcare: Body temperature sensors.

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

Body temperature sensors is a key innovation area in robotics

Body temperature sensors take body temperature readings and transmit them as electrical signals. An example of a body temperature sensor is an infrared temperature sensor that enables accurate non-contact temperature measurement.

GlobalData’s analysis 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 body temperature sensors.

Key players in body temperature sensors – 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 body temperature sensors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 68 Unlock company profile
Medtronic 49 Unlock company profile
Murata Manufacturing 42 Unlock company profile
Seiko Epson 18 Unlock company profile
Sensiia 16 Unlock company profile
PHC Holdings 14 Unlock company profile
Citizen Watch 13 Unlock company profile
ARC Devices 13 Unlock company profile
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone 12 Unlock company profile
Rakuten Group 12 Unlock company profile
Kinsa 11 Unlock company profile
Dragerwerk 11 Unlock company profile
ONiO 8 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 8 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 8 Unlock company profile
Toppan 7 Unlock company profile
Helen of Troy 7 Unlock company profile
Omron 7 Unlock company profile
Haesung DS 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is the leading patent filer in the body temperature sensors market. Some other leading patent filers include Medtronic and Murata Manufacturing.

In terms of application diversity, PHC leads the pack, followed by Rakuten Group and Alphabet. By means of geographic reach, Haesung DS held the top position, followed by Medtronic and Koninklijke Philips in second and third spots, respectively.

Due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, body temperature sensors, especially infrared temperature sensors, have gained popularity in the healthcare industry. It also offers a safe and effective way to screen people for increased body temperatures. Further research is being conducted to improve the accuracy of the devices.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 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.