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 [Report title, with hyperlink to the report store].
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
Robotic surgery system is a key innovation area in robotics
Robotic surgery, also called robot-assisted surgery (RAS), enables medical professionals to carry out a variety of high-precision, flexible, and controlled complex procedures, making it more feasible than conventional techniques. RAS devices give surgeons the ability to perform a variety of minimally invasive surgical operations by using computer and software technology to control and move surgical tools through one or more small incisions in the patient's body.
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 robotic surgery systems.
Key players in robotic surgery 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 robotic surgery systems
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in the field of robotic surgery systems. Some other key patent filers in the field include Heartflow, Medtronic, Koninklijke Philips, and Stryker.
In terms of application diversity, Magic Leap leads the pack, followed by Waters and Creo Medical Group, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Creo Medical Group held the top position, with Massachusetts General Hospital and Becton Dickinson in second and third spots.
The scope of robotic surgery system has been increased widely over the past few years. The technology not only improves the accuracy of the surgery, but it also translates into better surgical outcomes, better cancer control, lesser blood loss, lesser complications, less pain, and faster recovery. This has made surgeries safer and more precise, resulting in advancement in gynaecological, cancer, and urological-prostate surgeries.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the healthcare industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Healthcare.