The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the amalgamation of technological progress, heightened connectivity, and the urgency for businesses to enhance efficiency and competitiveness in an ever-changing marketplace, as well as growing importance of technologies such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and augmented and virtual reality. These technologies empower radiologists with advanced tools for image analysis, diagnosis, treatment planning, and improving patient care outcomes. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Artificial Intelligence: AI-assisted radiology. Buy the report here.

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.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, finite element simulation, ML-enabled blockchain networks, and generative adversarial network (GAN) are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Demand forecasting applications, intelligent embedded systems, and deep reinforcement learning are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are, wearable physiological monitors, smart lighting, and smart climate control systems, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the technology industry

AI-assisted radiology is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

AI-assisted radiology refers to the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to support radiologists in tasks like image analysis, diagnosis, and patient care. These systems harness AI algorithms to aid in detecting abnormalities, expediting image review, and enhancing the precision and consistency of diagnoses. By alleviating the workload on radiologists, this technology enables them to concentrate on more intricate cases, ultimately enhancing overall efficiency and patient outcomes.

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 870+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of AI-assisted radiology.

Key players in AI-assisted radiology – a disruptive innovation in the technology 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 AI-assisted radiology

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Koninklijke Philips 4402 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 2784 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 2130 Unlock Company Profile
Canon 1691 Unlock Company Profile
Olympus 1521 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 1071 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 1048 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 777 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 765 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 703 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 676 Unlock Company Profile
Heartflow 632 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 631 Unlock Company Profile
Medtronic 602 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare 560 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 555 Unlock Company Profile
Konica Minolta 551 Unlock Company Profile
Hologic 521 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 464 Unlock Company Profile
Stryker 413 Unlock Company Profile
Nikon 358 Unlock Company Profile
BrainLAB 342 Unlock Company Profile
Tencent 338 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 309 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Medical Systems 292 Unlock Company Profile
Hoya 285 Unlock Company Profile
Ping An Insurance 265 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 238 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 231 Unlock Company Profile
Shimadzu 222 Unlock Company Profile
Topcon 216 Unlock Company Profile
Elekta 208 Unlock Company Profile
Procter & Gamble 191 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore 186 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 182 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 179 Unlock Company Profile
Alcon 179 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 162 Unlock Company Profile
Synaptive Medical 152 Unlock Company Profile
Align Technology 146 Unlock Company Profile
Becton Dickinson 145 Unlock Company Profile
Casio Computer 141 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 135 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 134 Unlock Company Profile
Boston Scientific 129 Unlock Company Profile
DEKA Research and Development 128 Unlock Company Profile
PerkinElmer 124 Unlock Company Profile
Smith & Nephew 122 Unlock Company Profile
Dentsply Sirona 120 Unlock Company Profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 118 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Koninklijke Philips is one of the leading patents filers in AI-assisted radiology. The company’s patents are aimed at a medical imaging system configured to link acquired images to markers or tags on an anatomical illustration based on spatial and anatomical data associated with the acquired image.

The medical imaging system may be further configured to generate a diagnostic report including the anatomical illustration containing the markers. The diagnostic report may allow a user to select a marker to view information associated with an acquired image. Multiple images may be associated with a marker, and/or multiple markers may be associated with an image. A set of 2D/3D anatomical illustrations may be generated which contains markers from multiple diagnostic reports and updated automatically for an individual patient's anatomical model by the application to reflect measurements and quantitative findings related to organ, tissue, and vessel size, location, deformation, or obstruction.

Other prominent patent filers in the AI-assisted radiology space include Siemens and Fujifilm .  

In terms of geographical reach, Magic Leap leads the pack, followed by Sung Kwang Medical Foundation and VPIX Medical. In terms of application diversity, Neurent Medical holds the top position, followed by Masimo and Caris Life Sciences.  

AI-assisted radiology has potential to improve efficiency, accuracy, and patient outcomes in medical imaging. By augmenting the capabilities of radiologists, this technology has the power to transform the field by enabling faster diagnoses, more accurate interpretations, and informed decision-making, ultimately leading to enhanced healthcare delivery.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Thematic Intelligence.

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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.