Research and innovation in industrial automation in the healthcare operations sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of industrial automation related patent applications in the industry stood at 21 in the three months ending June – down from 29 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to industrial automation followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 27 in the three months ending June 2021 to 21 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Industrial automation is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Fresenius SE & Co KGaA was the top industrial automation innovator in the healthcare operations sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in Germany, filed 18 industrial automation related patents in the three months ending June. That was down from 19 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Cantel Medical Corp with 1 industrial automation patent application, the United States based HCA Healthcare Inc (1 application), and Japan based Paramount Bed Co Ltd (1 application).