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AI Innovation Soars in Medical Technology Sector, Report Reveals

In this post:

  • Medtech leads AI innovation with a significant increase in patent applications, outpacing overall AI growth.
  • AI-driven medical imaging and diagnostics dominate, but drug discovery AI sees a decline in filings.
  • Global influence of AI in medtech, with Europe, the US, and Asia taking center stage.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming industries worldwide, but recent findings published by intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk underscore that the medical technology (medtech) sector is emerging as a leader in AI innovation. The report highlights a remarkable surge in AI-based patent applications filed by the medtech sector, nearly quadrupling since 2018 to reach 2771 applications in 2022. This robust growth in AI applications within medtech has consistently outpaced the overall AI sector’s year-on-year percentage growth between 2014 and 2021.

Diving deeper into AI in medtech

When dissecting the findings by subsector, the report unveils specific areas driving the medtech industry’s momentum. AI-based medical imaging and diagnostics emerge as the dominant fields in 2022, amassing a combined total of 3018 applications. However, the report also notes a decline in AI-based drug discovery patent filings, with just 12 applications in 2022, reflecting a 30% decrease from the previous year. Several factors may explain this decline, including the maturation of the technology, patentability concerns regarding technical effects, or a strategic shift towards maintaining confidentiality during the drug discovery process.

Protecting medtech innovations through patents

Tim Hargreaves, a partner and medtech specialist at Marks & Clerk, applauds the medtech sector’s commitment to securing its innovations. He emphasizes that the complexity of medtech’s technical specializations necessitates a meticulous approach to intellectual property protection. Hargreaves also points out the global influence of AI in the medtech industry, with Europe and the US dominating AI patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) while witnessing an increasing number of filings from Asia, particularly China. This trend underscores the global ambitions of these regions in becoming “AI superpowers.”

Analyzing the technology underpinning AI applications

A further breakdown of AI applications by the underlying technology reveals that computer vision and predictive analytics together account for nearly two-thirds of medtech sector applications. While computer vision plays a crucial role across AI in general, predictive analytics holds a more prominent position in medtech filings. This suggests that the medtech sector prioritizes prediction, prevention, and intervention over treatment, as indicated by the limited number of applications related to drug discovery AI.

Anticipating AI regulations

Mike Williams, a partner at Marks & Clerk and author of the AI Report, looks ahead to potential AI regulations and their impact on patent filing trends. He notes the forthcoming EU AI Act and its potential burden on AI development in the EU, similar to the challenges posed by GDPR. This could lead to a slowdown in AI patents originating from the EU, especially if other jurisdictions adopt a more lenient regulatory approach. Additionally, Williams highlights the evolving landscape of generative AI and its potential influence on future patent data, given the 18-month delay between patent filing and publication.

Medtech’s data-driven future

The report underscores that data-intensive industries like medtech are well-positioned to reap substantial benefits from the evolution of AI technologies. These technologies are progressively guiding the world toward a data-driven future. The remarkable growth in AI patent applications within the medtech sector showcases its commitment to innovation and highlights its pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare through AI.

This marks the third annual AI Report from Marks & Clerk, utilizing data from the European Patent Office (EPO) to identify global trends in AI patent applications. The report also offers insights from the firm’s team of renowned AI specialists.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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