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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: Specimen collection devices. Buy the report here.

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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

Specimen collection devices is a key innovation area in healthcare

Specimen collection devices include a plethora of products like lancets, needles, specimen collection bags, cups, containers, etc, that are used for collection of various biological specimens from the patient for different laboratory test procedures. These devices enable a safe, fast and convenient experience of specimen collection, labelling, handling and storage.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of specimen collection devices.

Key players in specimen collection devices – 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 specimen collection devices

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Waters 176 Unlock Company Profile
Labrador Diagnostics 49 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 35 Unlock Company Profile
Biora Therapeutics 29 Unlock Company Profile
Lifecycle Technologies 16 Unlock Company Profile
Toi Labs 15 Unlock Company Profile
Takayoshi 14 Unlock Company Profile
Medipee 12 Unlock Company Profile
Recruit Holdings 12 Unlock Company Profile
Menicon 10 Unlock Company Profile
MX3 Diagnostics 8 Unlock Company Profile
Voyant Diagnostics 6 Unlock Company Profile
3M Electronic Monitoring 6 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 5 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Chemi-Con 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sequana Medical 5 Unlock Company Profile
3M 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Waters is the leading patent filer in the specimen collection devices market. Some other leading patent filers include Labrador Diagnostics and Panasonic.

In terms of application diversity, Sequana Medical leads, followed by Lifecycle Technologies and Labrador Diagnostics. With regards to geographic reach, Lifecycle Technologies leads, followed by Toi Labs and Samsung Group.

Specimen collection devices are a vital component of the medical diagnostics industry. With minimal collection time, these devices ensure safe withdrawal of specimen and sample stability. Rise in geriatric population and the prevalence of chronic disorders is likely to fuel the overall growth of this market and technological innovations will further help optimise the cost and efficiency of these devices in the future.

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

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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.