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 Wearable Tech in Healthcare: Enteral in-situ drug dispensers.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 443,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the healthcare industry, there are 200+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Enteral in-situ drug dispensers is a key innovation area in wearable tech

Enteral drug administration involves drugs delivered through the human gastrointestinal tract. This process is associated with less patient risk, less metabolic risk and helps to improve the process of taking drugs for people who are not able to swallow pills.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established healthcare companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of enteral in-situ drug dispensers.

Key players in enteral in-situ drug 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 enteral in-situ drug dispensers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Yuyama 221 Unlock company profile
DEKA Research and Development 115 Unlock company profile
Fujifilm Holdings 95 Unlock company profile
Takazono 63 Unlock company profile
Fresenius & Co 51 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 41 Unlock company profile
Becton Dickinson and Co 18 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 17 Unlock company profile
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals 13 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 12 Unlock company profile
Intelligent Hospital Systems 11 Unlock company profile
Tailorpill Technologies 11 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 8 Unlock company profile
B. Braun Melsungen 8 Unlock company profile
Hanmi Science 8 Unlock company profile
Canon 8 Unlock company profile
Aquestive Therapeutics 7 Unlock company profile
Stiplastics 7 Unlock company profile
International Business Machines 6 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 5 Unlock company profile
Van Humbeck Family 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Yuyama is one of the leading patent filers in the market for Enteral in-situ drug dispensers. Some other key patent filers in the field include DEKA Research and Development and Fujifilm. In terms of application diversity, DEKA Research and Development leads the pack, followed by Otsuka and Hanmi Science. By means of geographic reach, DEKA Research and Development held the top position, followed by Becton Dickinson and AcelRx Pharmaceuticals in second and third spots, respectively.

Enteral in-situdrug dispensers deliver the drugs directly to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract using tubing. Patients who are unable to take medications directly can be treated with the enteral drug administration method. Some of the medications can only be given via the GI tract, for which enteral drug administration is a very helpful method. The dispensers carry a unique set of colour codes and attachments that helps to connect to the tubing, delivering the drug directly to the GI tract. The enteral route of administration is especially needed for infants, neonates, and toddlers.

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.