GlobalData: China, South Korea, India driving innovation in medical robotics in Asia-Pacific over next five years; region has highest patenting activity for medical robotics globally, with China leading at over 2,800 patent applications between 2016-2022

Sample article from our Transformation & Innovation

January 16, 2023 (press release) –

Increased focus on medical robotic development across Asia-Pacific (APAC), mainly driven by China, South Korea, and India, will fuel innovation in the region over the next five years, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Robotics in Healthcare’, reveals that APAC has the highest patenting activity for robotics in healthcare globally. Indeed, China leads the world with over 2,800 patent applications between January 2016 and December 2022. Nearly 9,000 applications were filed globally during that period, with around 2,600 coming from the US, over 560 from Japan, and South Korea filing more than 370.

Jemima Walker, Thematic Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The APAC region is the third largest market for surgical robotics behind North America and Europe. Increasing healthcare expenditure markets such as India and China are driving the demand for robotic surgical procedures, as are other government policies. However, high device prices and lack of healthcare facilities continue to hinder market growth, particularly in developing countries in the region.”

APAC to see a reduction in imported surgical robotics

Rapid urbanization and population growth across APAC will increase the number of patients requiring surgical intervention. Healthcare providers will increasingly invest in surgical robots to meet patient needs.

Walker continues: “The cost of current surgical robotic systems is out of reach for most developing economies. However, there are efforts across APAC to supply affordable surgical robots, such as India’s SS Innovations, which aims to provide a locally produced alternative to importing expensive surgical robots.”

APAC leads the nascent micro-robotics for healthcare

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics reveals that although China leads in patent applications, South Korea accounts for all granted micro-robotic patents for healthcare in the region, with Chonnam National University’s affiliated Robot Research Institute being the top assignee.

Walker concludes: “Micro-robots could provide breakthrough treatments, including the delivery of targeted drugs for cancer. While US-based companies such as Bionaut Labs have a higher profile, APAC is the origin of most micro-robotic patent publications for healthcare. Increasing R&D budgets will ensure that APAC becomes the most innovative region in medical robotics.”

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