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Who are the leading innovators in histology image analysis software for the medical devices industry?

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 155,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the medical devices industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Histology image analysis software is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Histology image analysis involves utilizing a variety of image processing and analysis techniques on digitized microscopic images of tissue samples in order to extract relevant information. These techniques range from simple thresholding and edge detection to more complex methods such as machine learning algorithms, which enable automated detection and classification of different tissue types, cells, and structures within the images.

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 210+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of histology image analysis software.

Key players in histology image analysis software – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to histology image analysis software

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Heartflow is one of the leading patent filers in the field of histology image analysis software. Some other key patent filers in the field include F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Danaher and Sony Group.

In terms of application diversity, Light AI leads the pack, while ChipCare and Heartflow stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Heartflow held the top position, followed by Hologic and Sumitomo Chemical.

The potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in histopathological image analysis is promising and diverse, set to reduce expert workload, enhance objectivity, and transform diagnostics by delivering highly accurate, timely, and insightful results. Furthermore, the integration of AI with other emerging technologies, such as whole-slide imaging and digital pathology, has substantial promise to elevate its capabilities in the field including cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and the development of personalized treatment plans.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.


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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.

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