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: Compliance monitoring pill dispensers.

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

Compliance monitoring pill dispensers is a key innovation area in robotics

Compliance monitoring pill dispensers are used to maintain and track the number of doses, time, and frequency. It enables remote visualisation of the dose storage compartments in a medicine dispenser device to monitor a patient's compliance with a prescription dosage regimen. A robotic centralised automated dispenser reduces the likelihood of error significantly by organising many medications without the need for human assistance, improving pharmaceutical operations, and providing security.

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 compliance monitoring pill dispensers.

Key players in compliance monitoring pill dispensers – 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 compliance monitoring pill dispensers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Becton Dickinson and Co 105 Unlock company profile
Yuyama 64 Unlock company profile
Fresenius & Co 51 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 39 Unlock company profile
PerceptiMed 39 Unlock company profile
Takazono 32 Unlock company profile
MedicaSafe 25 Unlock company profile
Hero Health 21 Unlock company profile
Compliance Meds Technologies 19 Unlock company profile
Stora Enso 17 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 17 Unlock company profile
Avery Dennison 16 Unlock company profile
Waterio 16 Unlock company profile
AptarGroup 16 Unlock company profile
DEKA Research and Development 15 Unlock company profile
DAYA Medicals 15 Unlock company profile
Access Business Group International 15 Unlock company profile
Novartis 14 Unlock company profile
Omnicell 14 Unlock company profile
Dosentrx 13 Unlock company profile
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals 13 Unlock company profile
Medimi 13 Unlock company profile
eLucid mHealth 13 Unlock company profile
Manrex 13 Unlock company profile
CuePath Innovation 11 Unlock company profile
Santen Pharmaceutical 11 Unlock company profile
Intelligent Hospital Systems 11 Unlock company profile
Tailorpill Technologies 11 Unlock company profile
Hanmi Science 10 Unlock company profile
SMRxT 10 Unlock company profile
Beijing Electronics Holding 10 Unlock company profile
ODP 10 Unlock company profile
Edge Medical Properties 9 Unlock company profile
CKD 9 Unlock company profile
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries 9 Unlock company profile
Healthbeacon 9 Unlock company profile
GoFire 8 Unlock company profile
Berkshire Biomedical 8 Unlock company profile
RxAdvance 8 Unlock company profile
Hyprotek 7 Unlock company profile
Alphabet 7 Unlock company profile
Access Business Group 7 Unlock company profile
Evondos 7 Unlock company profile
Hygieia Health 6 Unlock company profile
Cardinal Health 6 Unlock company profile
AT&T 6 Unlock company profile
AstraZeneca 6 Unlock company profile
ABR Pharma 6 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 6 Unlock company profile
Emerson Electric 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Becton Dickinson is one of the leading patent filers in the field of compliance monitoring pill dispensers. Some other key patent filers in the field include Yuyama, Fresenius, Fujifilm and PerceptiMed.

In terms of application diversity, DEKA Research and Development leads the pack, followed by CKD and Hyprotek. By means of geographic reach, AcelRx Pharmaceuticals held the top position, followed by GoFire and Access Business Group International in the second and third spots, respectively.

Secure pharmaceutical storage and computerised drug consumption monitoring are made possible by compliance monitoring pill dispensers. Reports can be generated to help identify and stop any drug course deviation. In this era of technological innovation, pill dispensing systems have undoubtedly met the requirements for an efficient medicine delivery system and are a step towards enhancing patient safety and efficacy.

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.