The Australian Medical Devices: A Patent Analytics Report was developed in partnership with the Department of Industry.
The report analyses medical device inventions originating from Australia and uses patent analytics to provide insights into the technological innovation of the domestic medical technology sector through an analysis of the scope, quality and impact of Australian-originated patents.
The study identified 2706 medical device inventions that originated from Australia between 2001 and 2012. Australia ranks 13th in medical device patents globally, comparable to China and the Netherlands. Resmed, along with Cochlear and Cook, contribute to almost 20 per cent of the total inventions filed in the field. These applicants are corporations with a focus on research, production and sale of products in specialised areas of technology: respiratory (ResMed), hearing (Cochlear) and stents (Cook).
Australian's are also innovating in a number of other technology sub-fields including surgical and electromedical / diagnostics, implants and vision. The field to watch is vision – two university groups in Melbourne are working on the development of bionic vision devices. These devices will look at stimulating cells connected to the optic nerve and the brain’s visual cortex to create signals that can be interpreted as images.