Medical Device Companies: What are the top players up to?
It is alarming, the unending increase in convenience that technology is providing to humankind. To such an extent that it has advanced towards saving lives. Technology has rooted itself in every arena, the doctors we depend on to take care of our health also depend on technology, as AI robots and robotic arms are increasingly being installed in OTs.
And not just that, the morning alarm we wake up to, to the sleep tracker that monitors if we slept for at least 6 hours at night. And as I sit here writing this article, my activity tracker beeps to remind me to drink water. So I opened my bottle and with every sip, a constant thought triggered, “is it technology now that’s going to take care of our health?”
In the previous article, we discussed the Mergers and Acquisitions in the Medical Technology domain and the role of patents in the process. This article discusses the top companies in the medical device domain and what these top players are up to from the last 2 years to gain an upper hand in the Medtech industry.
Note: The table of contents below can help you navigate directly to the company of your interest, in case you are too busy to read the whole research study right now. You can also fill the form below to download a copy for your offline perusal or sharing with your colleagues.
The company is committed to making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling every day by crafting innovative optical and digital solutions in medical technologies, life sciences, industrial solutions, and cameras and audio products.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
Below listed are some of the recent initiatives of Olympus Corp.
- On January 17, 2018, Olympus announced the joint development with the RIKEN Brain Science Institute of the FV30-AC25W and FV30-AC10SV objectives for multiphoton laser microscopes, featuring automatic spherical aberration compensation for Neuroscience Research.
- On March 23, 2018, Olympus introduced EasySuite® 4K, the next-generation integrated operating room solution for hospitals.
- On April 10, 2018, Olympus inked a deal to acquire lithotripsy system design and production technology from Cybersonics for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, Olympus’ dual-action lithotripsy systems ShockPulse-SE and CyberWand which were previously manufactured by Cybersonics will now be serviced and manufactured by the Olympus Surgical Technologies America subsidiary.
- On May 17, 2018, Olympus launched the ENF-VT3, the world’s first Rhino-Laryngo videoscope to incorporate 4-direction angulation capability.
- On September 3, 2018, Olympus announced its collaboration with the Department of Diagnostic Pathology and the Institute for Clinical Research of National Hospital Organization Kure Medical Center and Chugoku Cancer Center respectively to use Olympus Deep Learning Technology to help create AI-based Pathology Diagnostic Tool.
- On September 10, 2018, Olympus announced the US-only launch of a new 3D cell analysis technology, NoviSight 3D Cell Analysis Software, with the ability to accurately analyze 3D cell cultures down to the nuclei, improving the reliability and accuracy of the entire drug discovery process from compound selection to animal experimentation and clinical trials in humans.
- On September 14, 2018, Olympus introduced EZ Shot 3 Plus 25 G EUS Needle with enhanced maneuverability for uncompromised access to any lesion, and consistent performance to potentially reduce procedural costs and procedure time.
- On November 1, 2018, Olympus launched a high-sensitivity model of the SpinSR10 Super-Resolution Imaging System that delivers clearer images and three times the brightness of the standard model.
- On January 9, 2019, The University of Southern California and Olympus announced their first-ever co-development partnership. The USC-Olympus Innovation Partnership in Multiscale Bioimaging has the goal of advancing multiscale research into cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment through precision medicine.
- On January 22, 2019, Olympus launched its FDA-approved Spiration Valve System (SVS) in the market, for the treatment of severe emphysema, a progressive form of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- On March 8, 2019, Olympus collaborated with Jikei University School of Medicine to develop AI-assisted sperm selection that aims to reduce the workload in IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). This research will make it easier for embryologists to select good sperm.
- On March 29, 2019, Olympus announced the launch of the Small Intestine Endoscopy System “PowerSpiral” in Europe and parts of Asia. It is the world’s first Endoscope with Motorized Rotation System.
- On June 3, 2019, Olympus launched the DSX1000 digital microscope, which significantly improves users’ inspection workflow and enables the analysis speed. The Microscope Boasts a 20–7,000X Magnification range and the ability to instantly switch between 6 observation methods.
- On June 4, 2019, with the launch of its next-generation X Line objectives, Olympus delivered a breakthrough to life science microscopy – Ultra-thin lenses. Manufactured by a revolutionary polishing technique that enabled the objectives to simultaneously boost numerical aperture, flatness, and chromatic correction – it provides exceptional image quality for researchers and clinicians alike.
- On September 13, 2019, Olympus medical systems group introduced two new rhino laryngoscopes, ENF-VH2 and V4, with video capability to ensure better visualization during ENT procedures. ENT specialists can use the laryngoscopes to identify lesions, while the devices can help speech-language pathologists to examine the physiology of swallowing.
- On October 25, 2019, Olympus announced it’s developing the “Digital transformation for surgery: advanced information-assisted endoscopic surgery system”. The system provides information that helps to ensure safe and consistent quality of the surgery by translating the tacit knowledge of skilled physicians in the endoscopic surgery field into data through AI analysis. This developmental theme was selected as a subsidized project by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). It aims for its practical application from 2024 onward.
- On October 30, 2019, Olympus launched the OmniScan® X3 Flaw Detector to redefine the Standard for Phased Array. The OmniScan X3 flaw detector elevates the standard with innovations that improve the entire inspection workflow.
- On October 31, 2019, in the pursuit to improve the quality and efficiency of life science research and drug discovery, Olympus launched the new SLIDEVIEW VS200 Research Slide Scanner which offers easy-to-operate high-resolution data acquisition.
- On November 11, 2019, Olympus developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to precisely calculate Sperm Motility in Real-Time by collaborative research with the Jikei University School of Medicine. This system will help embryologists identify good sperm accurately and quickly.
Olympus is the leader when it comes to patent filings in the entire Medical Devices domain. The company is fully focused on Endoscopic Devices i.e. almost all of its patent filings in the Medical Devices space are concentrated in this cluster only. Moreover, it has almost 4.5 times the number of patents when compared to second-placed Fujifilm (in this space). Interestingly, in 2014 & 2015, Olympus filed twice as many patents as it had filed in 2007.
In the year 2014-15, Olympus not just filed patents in its area of expertise i.e. Diagnosis & Imaging Devices but all of medical device technology clusters.
The chart below will help you understand the company’s patent filings in different technology clusters over the years.
From its humble origins as a repair shop to a global medical technology leader, Medtronic is a global healthcare solutions company committed to improving the lives of people through their medical technologies, services, and solutions.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
Below listed are some of the recent developments by Medtronic in recent years.
- On April 10, 2018, Israeli company VisionSense was acquired by Medtronic. The company develops imaging and visualization tech for minimally invasive surgery. The deal was closed in $75 million, with $50 million in cash and a further $25 million in milestone payments. VisionSense is known for developing a 3D-HD camera that “optically maps the surgical field.”
- On September 21, 2018, Medtronic officially announced the acquisition of Mazor. Medtronic, back in May 2016 had made a big move by inking a major multi-phased strategic and equity investment agreement with Mazor Robotics. The cash deal is valued at about $1.64 billion, or $1.34 billion net of Medtronic’s existing stake in Mazor and cash acquired. Considering Mazor’s revenue took a big hit in the second quarter due to lower pricing under its agreement with Medtronic, the acquisition is easily a win-win for both companies. It’s also no coincidence that the deal was unveiled just days before the annual North American Spine Society (NASS) meeting in Los Angeles.
- Announced in January 2019, Medtronic and Philips teamed up to improve care and outcomes for lung nodule patients.
- On January 28, 2019, Medtronic got into a definitive agreement to buy EPIX Therapeutics, a medical device manufacturer of cardiac ablation systems which treats patients with cardiac arrhythmias, for an undisclosed amount. Following the completion of the acquisition, EPIX apart from its flagship technology – DiamondTemp ablation system, will widen the Medtronic cardiac ablation portfolio with a range of tools to treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias.
- On May 1, 2019, Medtronic launched Solitaire X, a revascularization device intended to treat patients with acute ischemic stroke in the US, used to mechanically remove blood clots from blocked vessels in the brain which helps restore blood flow in acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion. Solitaire X is the company’s fourth-generation device. It is equipped with an optimized delivery system to enhance efficiency along with the technical features of its predecessor revascularisation devices.
- On May 10, 2019, Medtronic signed an agreement to acquire the US-based surface technology company Titan Spine which is engaged in the design and manufacture of interbody fusion devices for the spine for an undisclosed amount. Titan Spine’s product portfolio comprises a complete range of Endoskeleton interbody fusion devices featuring its nanoLOCK or surface technologies.
- Medtronic’s record of battery safety and expertise is so broad that it engaged with federal and international transport regulators. The reason was to develop a new classification scheme for lithium batteries that will more accurately account for the inherent hazards of different lithium batteries based upon their chemistry, design, and safety features.
- Rebecca Gottlieb, Vice President of Research and Technology at Medtronic Diabetes and her teams are exploring several XR technology-related ideas that could help people living with diabetes and manage their daily diets. An extended reality simulator allows doctors to practice a surgical procedure on a virtual replica of a person’s anatomy before performing the actual surgery.
- On September 17, 2019, Medtronic partnered with Novo Nordisk to offer digital solutions that will combine their respective technologies to help diabetic patients better manage their condition. Under this collaboration, Medtronic’s continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, including the Guardian Connect system, will integrate insulin dosing data from smart insulin pens currently in development with Novo Nordisk.
- On October 8, 2019, Medtronic disclosed that it has filed a pre-market approval (PMA) supplement with FDA for its InterStim Micro neurostimulator similar to Axonics’ system as well as it’s InterStim SureScan MRI leads.
- On October 10, 2019, Medtronic acquired Israeli medical technology company AV Medical for 30 million USD. AV Medical quoted that “the acquisition will help our products reach more patients worldwide and improve both the quality of the patients’ life during treatment and the physician’s work.”
- As of October 28, 2019, according to the Cleveland Clinic, the TYRX envelope – a Medtronic product that stabilizes the implantable device placed in patients reduces the rate of infection in patients – is among the top medical innovations for 2020.
- In 2019, Medtronic released real-world outcomes for its MiniMed 670G™ system, which includes the Guardian™ Sensor 3 that measures an individual’s blood sugar levels every five minutes.
- On November 11, 2019, Medtronic announced results from the MARVEL 2 (Micra Atrial Tracking Using A Ventricular accelerometer) study showing that an investigational set of algorithms in the Micra™ Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) significantly improves synchrony and cardiac function in patients with impaired electrical conduction between the chambers of the heart, called the atrioventricular (AV) block. This submission is currently under FDA review.
- On November 21, 2019, Medtronic’s drug-coated balloon (a paclitaxel-coated balloon) received U.S. FDA approval for the treatment of failing arteriovenous (AV) access in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing dialysis.
- On December 18, 2019, Medtronic acquired Klue, a US-based digital health startup, focused on behavior tracking and change. Medtronic did not disclose financial details of the transaction but said the deal will have no impact on its earnings per share in the fiscal year 2020. Medtronic plans to integrate Klue’s technology into its Personalized Closed Loop (PCL) insulin pump system.
Medtronic being the top 3rd patent filer in the medical devices domain has filed most of the patents in the sub areas of Assistive Care Domain, Treatment Equipment, followed by Prosthetic Devices, Measuring Devices, and Telehealth.
Medtronic is advancing mainly in surgical treatment equipment. The company is also among the top three patent filers in the sub-area of Diagnosis and Imaging, Monitoring and Tracking devices preceding Philips.
As for drug delivery devices, Medtronic comes at the second position in the overall tech area, but it tops the patent filings in two sub-areas, i.e. Implantable Drug Delivery Device, and Infusion Pumps.
Below is the patent filings of the company in different tech clusters:
As the company actively utilizes acquisitions to grow its medical empire, its patent filing has been decreasing since 2010. In June 2014, Medtronic acquired Covidien which stands on the 2nd position in the patent filing. Covidien’s acquisition has so far helped Medtronic accelerate therapy innovation, globalization, economic value and consequently the growth of the company.
The company has already witnessed its first acquisition of 2020. And it’s been anticipated that the acquisition activity will witness a further increase in the near future.
Philips Healthcare provides healthcare solutions for diagnostics, treatment, and preventive care. The company has now focused its research and development efforts to develop new approaches in the areas of radiology, cardiology, oncology, decision support, home health, respiratory, and other critical areas.
Some of the initiatives they’ve been working on are listed below.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
- On March 1, 2018, Philips launched the artificial intelligence-powered HealthSuite, an insights analytics software suite designed for the curation and analysis of healthcare data.
The launch includes the Amsterdam-based company’s Insights Marketplace, which allows users access to curated AI-based assets from Philips and others through its own private ecosystem. Philips said that the AI-based tools available through the newly launched HealthSuite Insights covers fields including diagnostic imaging solutions, patient monitoring solutions, oncology, and genomics.
- On March 8, 2018, Philips and Samsung Electronics announced their plans for a strategic partnership to connect Samsung’s ARTIK Smart IoT Platform to the Philips HealthSuite digital platform. With this collaboration, the Samsung ARTIK ecosystem of connected devices will be allowed to safely access and share information with Philips’ cloud platform.
- On June 6, 2018, Royal Philips entered into an agreement to buy EPD Solutions, a specialist in image-guided procedures for heart rhythm disorders called cardiac arrhythmias, for a cash-based consideration of €250m. EPD Solutions also has a portfolio that includes a cardiac imaging and navigation system designed to create a detailed 3D image of the cardiac anatomy which can help electrophysiologists navigate the heart.
- On June 15, 2018, Philips acquired U.K.based Remote Diagnostic Technologies, a company that develops cardiac therapy, data management and monitoring solutions for the pre-hospital market. It has a portfolio of connected emergency care solutions that Amsterdam-based Philips said will complement its therapeutic care biz, for an undisclosed amount.
- On September 28, 2018, Royal Philips collaborated with the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at the Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health and developed a resuscitation device referred to as the Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR) to help reduce neonatal mortality.
- On October 25, 2018, Royal Philips unveiled its new IntelliVue GuardianSoftware app that enables clinicians to better monitor patient conditions. The app includes Early Warning Scoring (EWS) to offer advanced mobility and optimized workflows for clinicians. It has also secured 510(k) clearance from the US FDA. The app is compatible with various medical devices such as wearable biosensors.
- On November 22, 2018, Royal Philips introduced a comprehensive and open platform called IntelliSpace Discovery 3.0 to enable the development of artificial intelligence assets and their deployment in radiology to help teams carry out clinical and translational research. Launched ahead of 2018 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the open platform, powered by Philips HealthSuite, enables radiologists to have thorough data analytics in medical imaging.
- On February 19, 2019, Royal Philips unveiled its new Zenition mobile C-arm imaging platform which provides live image guidance during surgical procedures. Based on X-ray technology, Zenition features image capture and image processing capabilities similar to the company’s image-guided therapy platform Azurion, introduced in 2017. In addition, the Zenition mobile C-arm can be moved easily between operating rooms. It is simple to position around the patient and allows intuitive operability.
- Philips and Accenture developers tested out Google Glass before entering the OR simulator lab. Google Glass and Philips’ Intellivue Solutions originate from Philips ‘Digital Accelerator Lab’. Their research vision is the ability for clinicians to call up images and other clinical information including patient vitals from anywhere in the hospital using wearable technology.
- On June 18, 2019, LabCorp and Mount Sinai Health System collaborated to establish a digital and AI-enabled pathology center of excellence. The Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution is the first, and currently, the only digital pathology solution marketed for primary diagnostic use in the U.S. It aids pathologists in the review and interpretation of digital images of surgical pathology slides through an automated digital pathology image creation, viewing, and management system.
- On July 17, 2019, Philips acquired Medumo, a small Boston-based health-tech startup, for its health care business. Medumo uses a combination of email and SMS to deliver instructions to patients, on behalf of its hospital customers. The company, which has fewer than 30 employees, fits into the so-called “patient engagement” trend, which involves providing tools for medical providers to stay in touch with their patients outside of the four walls of the doctor’s office.
- On September 10, 2019, Philips and B. Braun launched Onvision needle tip tracking, a breakthrough in real-time ultrasound guidance for regional anesthesia.
- On September 11, 2019, Philips launched NightBalance, a therapy option for positional obstructive sleep apnea patients. The device is designed to provide a mask-free alternative to current positional OSA therapies. It comes with wireless connectivity and a mobile app to track its use.
- On September 19, 2019, Philips teamed up with PURE on pioneering tele-ultrasound program linking specialists around the globe. PURE aims to further expand access to high-quality ultrasound imaging in limited-resource environments.
- On November 5, 2019, Philips announced the debut of EarlyVue VS30, a new vital signs monitor in the U.S. for early patient intervention in general care settings.
- On November 12, 2019, Philips launched its first clinical product IntelliSpace Cognition in the U.S. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Philips’s cloud-based HealthSuite Digital Platform together make it a powerful aid for assessing cognitive impairment.
- On December 5, 2019, Philips and Paige teamed up to bring Artificial Intelligence (AI) based cancer assessment tools to help pathologists improve the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnostics, ultimately leading to better patient care.
- On December 10, 2019, Prof. Dr. Nikolaos Bonaros discussed how Philips Zenition mobile C-arm promotes a collaborative working environment for his team at the Medical University of Innsbruck.
- On December 11, 2019, Philips announced the outcomes of their successful 15-year tele-critical partnership. Powered by Philips’ acute telehealth platform eCareManager, Health First’s VitalWatch eICU has demonstrated significant reductions in mortality and lengths of stay for the health system’s sickest patient population.
- On 06 January 2020, Royal Philips at CES 2020 announced its expansion of personalized consumer health solutions. With the expansion of the collaboration with Delta Dental of California to improve oral care outcomes, the introduction of Baby+ to support new parents and the SmartSleep suite of solutions, Philips is addressing people’s individual requirements and empowering them to make healthier choices.
Philips is among the top patent filers in the sub-areas of Assistive Care, Diagnosis and Imaging, Wearable Devices and in the Drug Delivery domain namely, Respiratory Equipment, Telehealth Equipment, Inhalers, and Monitoring and Tracking devices. Monitoring and tracking devices are the most focussed sub-area.
Philips has launched many products related to patient and infant monitoring. In wearable devices, it succeeds the rest of the tech companies maintaining some gap, followed by Samsung and Seiko Epson.
The company’s patent filings increased in 2014 and 15, the reason being Philip’s focus on wearable medical devices and diagnosis & imaging devices. The company filed the most wearable and diagnosis device patents in 2016.
Dedicated to transforming lives through innovative medical solutions, Boston Scientific stands 5th in patenting its innovations. The company is working collaboratively to pursue global opportunities that extend the reach of their medical solutions, adapting to change and acting with speed, agility, and accountability to further improve patient care.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
Below listed are some of the recent initiatives taken by the company in the medical device domain.
- On March 22, 2018, Boston Scientific struck a $406 million deal to buy NxThera and its treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The takeover bolstered Boston Scientific’s urology business through the addition of a minimally invasive, radiofrequency-based way of destroying obstructive prostate tissue.
- On July 6, 2018, Boston Scientific acquired Cryterion Medical, a company it has invested in since its launch in 2016, by buying up the remaining 65% stake for $202 million upfront. The purchase includes Cryterion’s balloon-based cryoablation platform for atrial fibrillation.
- On July 23, 2018, Boston Scientific signed an agreement to purchase medical devices developer Claret Medical for an upfront cash payment of $220m. The terms of the agreement additionally include up to $50m as a potential reimbursement-based milestone payment. The Claret Medical portfolio includes the Sentinel Cerebral Embolic Protection System intended to address the risk of stroke in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
- On August 9, 2018, Boston Scientific Corp. acquired Veniti Inc, a California medical device maker, for $160 million. Veniti Inc. has created and commercialized a device for treating abnormal, blocked or damaged veins.
- On September 7, 2018, Boston Scientific announced an investment of $600 million on Augmenix and its SpaceOar hydrogel device which won CE Mark approval in the European Union in 2010 and 510(k) clearance from the FDA in April 2015. It is designed to separate the prostate from the rectal wall during radiation treatment for prostate cancer. The deal for Bedford, Mass.-based Augmenix called for $500 million in up-front cash and another $100 million pegged to sales-based milestones, Boston said.
- On December 27, 2018, Boston Scientific acquired the rest of California-based company Millipede Inc. to build out its cardiac portfolio. Earlier this year, the Massachusetts-based medical device giant invested $90 million into Millipede with the option of acquiring the rest of the company for $325 million, with an additional $125 million payment contingent on certain commercialization milestones.
- On Jan 24, 2019, Boston Scientific Corporation launched the Vercise™ Primary Cell (PC) and Vercise Gevia™ Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Systems featuring the Vercise Cartesia™ Directional Lead. These were recently approved by the U.S. FDA to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) through highly-personalized therapy.
- On March 13, 2019, Boston Scientific Corporation announced that it has received CE Mark and initiated a limited market release of the next generation WATCHMAN FLX™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC) Device in Europe which is intended to reduce the risk of stroke in people with non-valvular AF.
- On March 17, 2019, Boston Scientific Corporation announced data from the AF-FICIENTI study that demonstrated positive safety and efficacy results with the LUMINIZE™ Radiofrequency (RF) Balloon Catheter for isolation of pulmonary veins (PV) when treating patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
- On April 23, 2019, Boston Scientific Corporation announced that it has received U.S. FDA’s approval for the LOTUS Edge™ Aortic Valve System. This transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) technology is approved for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are considered at high risk for surgical valve replacement via open heart surgery.
- On May 6, 2019, Boston Scientific announced that the US FDA has approved the VICI VENOUS STENT™ System for the treatment of patients with Deep Venous Blockages by a blood clot.
- On May 10, 2019, Boston Scientific announced acute results from the UNTOUCHED study evaluating the safety and efficacy of the EMBLEM™ Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (S-ICD) System for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death.
- On June 12, 2019, Boston Scientific acquired spine solutions maker Vertiflex for an upfront cash payment of $465m. The deal included additional payments based on commercial milestones for the next three years. Vertiflex has developed the minimally invasive Superion Indirect Decompression System to help improve physical function and decrease pain in patients suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).
- On July 30, 2019, Mayo Clinic and Boston Scientific created a new accelerator program aimed at developing medical technologies for unmet health needs, with a focus on minimally invasive treatments. The venture announced, called Motion Medical, was expected to open in the fall with research facilities in Rochester, Minnesota.
- On August 19, 2019, Boston Scientific Corporation announced the U.S. FDA approval of its ImageReady™ MRI labeling for the Vercise Gevia™ Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) system to be used in a full-body MRI environment. This system is designed to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.
- On August 20, 2019, having acquired minimally invasive device manufacturer BTG for $4.2bn, Boston Scientific set to expand its portfolio of minimally-invasive surgical devices. This was Boston Scientific’s second-largest acquisition ever after its $26 billion purchase of Guidant in 2006.
Alongside its minimally invasive vascular device portfolio, BTG boasts a specialty pharmaceutical and licensing wing of interventional oncology therapeutics for patients with liver and kidney cancers. BTG also has a portfolio of antidote pharmaceuticals to treat overexposure to certain medications and toxins.
- On September 26, 2019, Boston Scientific announced primary endpoint results from the EVOLVE Short DAPT clinical trial, the first prospective study initiated in the U.S. to examine the safety of a shortened duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) in patients at high risk for bleeding.
- On November 5, 2019, Boston Scientific announced positive data for two devices within the peripheral drug-eluting product portfolio – a 12-month interim analysis from the RANGER II SFA trial of the Ranger™ Drug-Coated Balloon (DCB) as well as 24-month results from the IMPERIAL trial of the Eluvia™ Drug-Eluting Vascular Stent (DES), during separate late-breaking clinical trial presentations at Vascular InterVentional Advances (VIVA) meeting in Las Vegas.
- On December 13, 2019, Boston Scientific Corporation announced the FDA clearance of the EXALT™ Model D Single-Use Duodenoscope for use in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures and was granted Breakthrough Device Designation.
- Boston Scientific HeartLogic™ Heart Failure Diagnostic is a monitoring tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify patients who are likely to become sick and to take preventative action to keep them healthier. The technology can predict heart failure events an average of 34 days before they happen using multiple sensors to track physiological signals in and around the heart.
- On December 30, 2019, Boston Scientific received court orders to complete the abandoned acquisition which also implied that Boston Scientific Corp. could be forced to go through with a $275 million acquisition that the Marlborough-based medical device giant had abandoned following a fraud investigation.
The deal to purchase California medical device company Channel Medsystems Inc. was struck in 2017, and then called off last year after finding out that one Channel’s executives had falsified paperwork, including portions of Channel’s FDA application for its first product.
Boston Scientific is the top US company with most patent filing in medical devices. It stands top in filing patents in Prosthetic Devices and has a presence in various other categories. For example, it is the third top patent filer in Electrosurgical Devices, Sutures & Staples, and Treatment Equipment. The company is also in the list of top 10 patent filers of Endoscopic Devices, Handheld Surgical Devices, and Implantable Devices.
The company is least active in Wearables but the activity in assistive care, surgical, and diagnosis devices is almost the same. However, the filings in Surgical devices got reduced from 83 patents in 2007 to 17 patents in 2016.
Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers worldwide to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving patient experience, and digitizing healthcare. A leader in medical technology, Siemens is constantly innovating its portfolio of products and services in its core areas of diagnostic and therapeutic imaging and in laboratory diagnostics and molecular medicine.
Siemens Healthineers is also actively developing its digital health services and enterprise services. In the fiscal year of 2018, Siemens generated revenue of €13.4 billion and an adjusted profit of €2.3 billion.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
- On June 1, 2018, Siemens signed an agreement with Netherlands-based imaging technology developer ScreenPoint Medical, to jointly create artificial intelligence (AI) based applications for breast imaging. Under the collaborative deal, Siemens also acquired a strategic minority stake in ScreenPoint. The alliance will bring together Siemens’ breast imaging expertise and ScreenPoint’s experience in mammography decision support to devise clinical applications for the screening and diagnosis of cancer.
- On June 25, 2018, Siemens introduced a new general imaging ultrasound system – Acuson Sequoia, to enable imaging of different sized patients with consistent clarity. The new device is equipped with a new high-powered architecture Deep Abdominal Transducer (DAX) and other upgrades to elastography and contrast-enhanced ultrasound.
- On July 27, 2018, Siemens introduced two new assays for quick diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction or heart attack, following approval from the US FDA. The High-Sensitivity Troponin I assays (TnIH) for the Atellica IM and ADVIA Centaur XP/XPT in-vitro diagnostic analyzers are designed to detect low cardiac troponin I levels in serum or plasma. Said to demonstrate 99% precision, the assays can also identify small changes in a patient’s troponin level because of repeat testing.
- On August 13, 2018, Siemens formed a strategic alliance with spine technology firm NuVasive to boost clinical outcomes during minimally invasive spine surgery. NuVasive develops minimally disruptive, predictable, and clinically reproducible solutions for spine surgery while Siemens provides a portfolio of imaging systems such as 3D imaging for complex spine cases. Under the Spine Precision Partnership, the partners will jointly work on technology development, marketing, and commercial activities.
- On August 29, 2018, MUSC and Siemens collaborated to enhance healthcare in South Carolina. As part of the deal, MUSC will pair its clinical care, research, and education expertise with Siemens’ engineering and workflow-improvement capabilities. The partnership is expected to generate significant clinical and value-driven innovations in various fields such as pediatrics, cardiovascular care, radiology, and neurosciences.
- On October 23, 2018, MWH Medical and Siemens partnership opened doors for clinical advancements in the Healthcare Sector. The partnership is a testament to the long working relationship between the two. Both parties will be developing a Center of Excellence with the long-term objectives of ensuring better disease management and improving the quality of patient care.
- On October 24, 2018, Siemens announced a worldwide partnership with Israeli firm Healthy.io. This partnership aims to improve kidney disease monitoring by enabling at-home urine testing. Under the partnership, Siemens’ urinalysis reagents will be integrated into the smartphone-based urinalysis system developed by Healthy.io. The Healthy.io system leverages a urinalysis dipstick that measures ten parameters associated with various infections, chronic illnesses, and pregnancy-related complications.
- On March 20, 2019, as part of a strategic technology partnership with Siemens Healthineers, Braunschweig Municipal Hospital put new technology in place for molecular diagnostics that will let physicians identify the nature of cancer tumors rapidly and reliably. The method was developed by Neo New Oncology, a subsidiary of Siemens Healthineers.
- On July 26, 2019, AI-Rad Companion Chest CT, an intelligent software assistant for radiology by Siemens, was awarded the CE mark. Based on AI, the digital assistant can automatically evaluate CT images of the thorax and can mark and measure abnormal pathological findings.
- On August 02, 2019, Siemens Healthineers in partnership with Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia in Bad Oeynhausen developed its first innovative care service – HerzConnect for patients with cardiovascular diseases.
- On September 20, 2019, Siemens shared its plan to make India a hub for digital imaging devices and use it as an export base to countries in Latin America, Africa, and China. The company has already invested nearly Rs. 20 crore at the co-located manufacturing facility in Bengaluru along with the research and development (R&D) center. Siemens has invested nearly Rs 2,500 crore in its R&D facility in the country during the past two decades.
- On October 11, 2019, Siemens launched the ACUSON Redwood, a new ultrasound system that features advanced applications for greater clinical confidence, AI-powered tools for smart workflows and has shared services cardiology features used by different hospital departments.
- On October 22, 2019, Siemens announced the new RAPIDPoint 500e Blood Gas System incorporated with Integrity-sense™ Technology. The new system generates blood gas, electrolyte, and metabolite results used to diagnose and monitor critically ill patients typically in the ICU, OT, or emergency room(ER).
- On October 29, 2019, Siemens completed its $1.1 billion buyout of Corindus Vascular Robotics and its robot-assisted device for coronary and peripheral vascular procedures.
- On November 11, 2019, Siemens acquired ECG Management Consultants, a leading U.S. healthcare advisory firm. ECG said it will continue to manage and lead its own consulting business and will engage with clients independently from Siemens.
- On November 21, 2019, Siemens presented its new Somatom X.cite single-source CT scanner, together with the totally new myExam Companion, a revolutionary intelligent user guidance system that automatically adapts the scanner protocols in line with patient data.
- On December 01, 2019, at RSNA, Siemens introduced two software assistants based on artificial intelligence (AI).
- AI-Rad Companion Brain MR for Morphometry Analysis provides result tables on volumetric changes in brain areas.
- AI-Rad Companion Prostate MR for Biopsy Support segments the prostate and can facilitate targeted biopsy under MRI and US fusion imaging.
- Besides, Siemens also presented its new mobile head CT scanner, Somatom On.site.
- On December 13, 2019, Siemens got FDA approval for its Somatom go.Sim and Somtom go.Open Pro computed tomography systems. The CT systems are designed for radiation therapy planning and are members of the company’s Somatom go platform of devices.
- On December 18, 2019, The University Hospital Giessen became the first one to successfully use the endovascular robotic system, Corindus’ CorPath® GRX System with an Artis angiography system from Siemens.
Siemens hasn’t been on top in any of the areas or sub areas of medical devices except for Assistive Care devices. It is the top patent filer in the sub areas – Durable Medical equipment and precedes Philips in Measuring Devices.
Siemens’ patent filings in medical devices have decreased over time. The reason being its low filing in Assistive Care devices which is an important technological area of Siemens. The company also lowered the filing activity in Diagnosis & Imaging devices.
Headquartered in Somerville, New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson‘s (J&J) Ethicon subsidiary is the world leader in surgical sutures from the past 10 years. In addition, Ethicon has expanded into wound management, women’s health, cardiovascular surgery, and sterilization products.
The contributions by Ethicon for medical devices isn’t huge, but despite the few contributions, it still is one of the top companies of the domain.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
- On 9 May 2019, Ethicon agreed to acquire TachoSil Fibrin Sealant Patch – a surgical patch developed to enable safe and quick bleeding control, from Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical for a cash consideration of around $400 million. The product generated around $155m in net sales for the fiscal year of 2018. Ethicon will buy the assets and licenses associated with the manufacturing, licensing, and commercialization of TachoSil.
- On May 15, 2018, Auris Health, Inc. announced a cooperative development and commercialization agreement with NeuWave™ Medical Inc., a subsidiary of Ethicon Inc., and part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, with the aim of enabling robotically assisted bronchoscopic ablation of lesions in the lung. The agreement calls for the co-development of integrated systems from robotic control and navigation to the application of microwave ablation delivered via bronchoscopes.
- On May 31, 2018, DePuy Synthes, part of the Johnson & Johnson Companies, announced Europe, Middle East, and Africa launch of the ATTUNE Revision Knee System, to complement the ATTUNE Primary Knee System and provide surgeons with a comprehensive solution for knee replacement.
- On June 25, 2019, Ethicon announced the clearance of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its VistaSeal open and laparoscopic Dual Applicators (35 cm and 45 cm), three airless spray devices that combine biologics with device technology to address mild to moderate surgical bleeding.
- On August 2, 2018, Ethicon Korea launched a microwave ablation system called NEUWAVE that kills cancer cells. The system is the first minimally invasive device that inserts electrodes into cancer cells and raises the temperature around them to burn off cancer cells. NEUWAVE was first launched in the United States in 2015 and gained reimbursement in Korea starting July 1.
- On August 31, 2019, results from the Atrial Fibrillation Progression Trial (ATTEST), was declared. ATTEST is the first randomized controlled trial to directly compare the effectiveness of ablation using radiofrequency (RF) catheters versus standard antiarrhythmic drugs (AAD) in delaying atrial fibrillation (AF) progression. The results show that patients treated with catheter ablation (aged 67.8 ± 4.8 years) were almost 10 times less likely to develop persistent AF than patients on AAD at three years after study initiation.
- On September 17, 2019, Ethicon announced the launch of a new product in its MEGADYNE™ MEGA SOFT™ portfolio of reusable patient return electrodes. The new MEGADYNE™ MEGA SOFT™ Universal Plus is a versatile and easy to use patient return electrode, designed to protect skin by eliminating adhesives and incorporating pressure reduction pad.
- On September 25, 2019, Ethicon introduced a powered circular stapler – Echelon Circular for colorectal, gastric, and thoracic surgery. The Echelon Circular surgical stapler integrates the company’s 3D Stapling technology and Gripping Surface Technology (GST).
- On September 27, 2018, Ethicon released a whole new set of surgical products to perform bariatric revision surgeries, along with complimentary education and training for performing reoperations.
- On November 18, 2019, Biosense Webster EMEA, a division of Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA and leader in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) launched a two-pronged initiative to tackle the new millennium epidemic of Atrial Fibrillation.
- On November 21, 2019, the Johnson & Johnson announced that DePuy Synthes has launched the SYMPHONYTM Occipito-Cervico-Thoracic (OCT) System, expanding its offering for the surgical treatment of conditions in the neck and upper back.
- On December 4, 2019, Ethicon launched VISTASEAL Fibrin Sealant to help surgeons control bleeding during surgical operations. The sealant attributes a combination of clotting proteins found in human plasma, fibrinogen, and thrombin. It instantly forms an adherent and durable clot upon the application of the sealant to the bleed.
- On December 20, 2019, Johnson & Johnson announced that they’ll be acquiring the remaining stake in Verb Surgical Inc. from Verily, an Alphabet company as the latter exits the robotic surgery venture partnership four years after launch. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020. This takeover builds on its $3.4 billion acquisition this year of endoscopy robot creator Auris Health and its 2018 purchase of French company Orthotaxy, which was developing a robot-assisted platform for total and partial knee replacements.
Ethicon precedes Covidien that stands top in patent filing activity in surgical devices, mainly in the sub areas of handheld surgical devices and sutures, and staples.
Talking about patents claiming priority of 2015, Covidien has filed roughly 400 patents whereas Ethicon has filed close to 300 patents. The gap is reducing which raises a question – Will Ethicon in the coming years take over Covidien in this domain?
Ethicon majorly focuses on surgical devices and in recent years, their patent filings in the sub area got increased by 2x when compared from 2007 to 2016. The company is barely active in wearable devices. Their patent filings in Diagnosis & Imaging Devices saw a 500% decrease when compared from 2007 to 2016.
From digital X-ray diagnostics to radiopharmaceuticals, Fujifilm medical systems offer wide-ranging solutions, building on pioneering diagnostic imaging technologies, expanding into the areas of preventive healthcare and treatment. The company draws additional expertise from Fujifilm group companies’ strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions.
Strategic Initiatives and Collaborations
- On March 29, 2018, Fujifilm announced it would acquire the Irvine Scientific Sales Company, Inc. and IS Japan Co. Ltd. from JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation for a combined $800 million and maximize their synergy in its significant and growing biomedical businesses.
- On April 11, 2018, Fujifilm entered the U.S. minimally-invasive surgery market. Its newest Boston-based business, Fujifilm New Development, U.S.A. Inc., launched two surgical visualization systems – FUJIFILM Ultra-Slim Video Laparoscope System and FUJIFILM Full High-Definition Surgical Visualization System.
- On September 10, 2018, Fujifilm announced digital mirrorless cameras and medical device businesses to be among its key growth drivers for the upcoming years. The Japanese imaging technology major is also focusing on building stronger brand equity especially among young consumers in India.
- On September 23, 2018, the Fujifilm Holdings unit disclosed its plan to start testing the therapy in patients with severe complications from leukemia treatment in 2019 and predicts to win approval to manufacture and market the therapy in 2022. The therapy uses induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells. Such cells are being heavily researched for their promise in regenerative medicine, and companies are working to build businesses around the cells, as has been done with drugs and medical devices.
- On October 21, 2018, FCT Embrace was introduced by Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Powered by Analogic, it is the world’s first 85cm wide bore computed tomography (CT) imaging unit with 64 or 128 slice configurations, optimized for both oncology and radiology applications. The FCT Embrace, combined with other market-leading oncology solutions, offers enhanced and efficient CT Simulation with radiotherapy treatment planning capabilities.
- On November 24, 2018, Fujifilm Medical Systems entered into a joint collaboration with a Korean-based medical AI software company – Lunit Inc., and one of the largest diagnostic service providers in Mexico with 94 clinics around 24 states – Salud Digna.
The goal of the collaboration is to have radiologists in a real-world setting to evaluate AI technologies for diagnostic imaging being developed by both Fujifilm and Lunit.
- On September 12, 2019, Fujifilm SonoSite, Inc. announced the launch of a strategic relationship with Partners HealthCare to apply AI and improve the utility and functionality of portable ultrasound, further expanding the accessibility of this technology for clinicians and their patients.
- From October 27-29, 2019, Endoscopy, a division of the Fujifilm Healthcare portfolio, unveiled eight new endoscopes as well as exhibited its comprehensive suite of endoscopic imaging solutions.
- On November 25, 2019, GE Healthcare and Fujifilm partnered with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to establish a new $50 million center for advanced biological manufacturing and engineering.
- From Dec 1-6, 2019, Fujifilm Healthcare previewed its new FDR D-EVO III DR detector at RSNA 2019.
- In the same event, it also announced that it will add three new digital X-ray suites – FDR Clinica U, FDR Clinica X, and D-EVO Suite FSx – to its comprehensive and expanding portfolio of imaging technologies.
- Fujifilm SonoSite, Inc., specialists in developing cutting-edge, point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), and part of the larger Fujifilm Healthcare portfolio, exhibited numerous solutions at RSNA.
- On December 18, 2019, Fujifilm announced its plans to buy Hitachi’s medical imaging business for about $1.56 Billion. The deal is expected to close in July 2020. This deal could improve Fujifilm’s ability to compete globally against medical imaging giants like GE Healthcare, Philips, Siemens, and Canon.
- On December 19 and 20, 2019, Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A., Inc., presented its ELUXEO advanced endoscopic visualization system and a full portfolio of 700 series core GI and 580 series interventional endoscopes at the New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy’s 43rd Annual Meeting.
Fujifilm’s patent filing is inconsistent as the below chart shows:
The company witnessed a huge filing count in 2010-11 due to their increased filing activity in Diagnosis & Imaging devices which is a strong area of the company’s research. Fujifilm precedes Olympus corporation with 819 patent families in the sub area – Endoscopic devices. However, Olympus stands ahead with a big gap i.e 3603 patent families.
So these were the top MedTech companies and what they have been up to from the past few years. We can see that just like the rest of the industry, Medical device technology too is growing towards Artificial Intelligence to provide a better experience to the patients. The upcoming technology is presumed to be more convenient to the doctors as AI robots will be helping them to a much greater extent.
According to reports, medical information is worth between 10 to 40 times more valuable than your credit card number on the black market. Especially when records contain a social security number which, unlike a credit card number, never changes. This hijacked personal info can be used for tax fraud. That’s another threat that the Medical Device industry is working on, using AI to secure patient data.
Besides, each company is more focussed in one or the other specific domain or sub-area of medical devices, leading in that domain. In addition, these companies are also exploring IoT space to add value to their products to provide real-time individual tracking and guidance.
Since a lot of research is yet to be done in almost all of the areas of medical devices, numerous insights can be discovered. A highly aligned business approach, research, and patent strategy will certainly play a role and we will be tracking them all. And if you would like to find more insights of a specific company, domain or sub-area, it is always better to get them answered from someone who has developed multiple strategies to excavate, refine and share that information. Not bragging, but people do pay us to find information. Have something we could find for you?
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Authored by: Nidhi and Vipin Singh, Market Research.