Research and innovation in healthtech in the pharmaceutical sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of healthtech related patent applications in the industry stood at 785 in the three months ending July – down from 1052 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to healthtech followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 531 in the three months ending July 2021 to 262 in the same period in 2022.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Healthtech is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Johnson & Johnson was the top healthtech innovator in the pharmaceutical sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 413 healthtech related patents in the three months ending July. That was down from 504 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the Switzerland based F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd with 146 healthtech patent applications, France based Sanofi (32 applications), and the United States based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (29 applications).

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has recently ramped up R&D in healthtech. It saw growth of 3.4% in related patent applications in the three months ending July compared to the same period in 2021 - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the pharmaceutical sector.