Author Archives: Lux Research

Governments Take a Stance on Telehealth

Telehealth regulation has become a trending topic since U.S. legislators introduced the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017, but internationally, governments are taking mixed positions on regulation. Telehealth has grown in the past decade into a global industry that extends care across borders, and is driving innovation in areas like triage and disease management. Yet despite its proliferation, national policy remains disjointed and poses a major hurdle across the industry. Continue reading

Risen From the Dead: Google Glass 2.0 Is Now for the Enterprise

Google Glass is back. Last week, X, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabetannounced a revival of its most embarrassing wearable mishap with a new focus on the enterprise market. In the past couple years, Google Glass Enterprise Edition (EE) has been silently tested in pilot programs with companies such as GEDHLBoeingVolkswagen, and Sutter Health. After last week’s announcement of Glass EE, the wearable device will now be more widely available via a network of partners. As of now, there are no further plans to bring back the original consumer edition. Continue reading

What’s Happened in the First Half of 2017 in Energy Storage: Meta-Analysis of More Than 300 News Events Across the Industry

Using our News Commentary feature (client registration required), Lux Research analysts have been tracking the energy storage space with unprecedented detail, covering more than 300 chosen individual developments during the past half year. These innovation-related events span from partnerships and investments to new research and new factories, and include information about the companies involved and our own takes on the developments. While this set of coverage is not meant to include every single development, it does capture much of what Lux analysts think is worth considering. The full dataset is available to Lux members to explore here, by clicking the News tab’s Energy Storage filter (client registration required), which includes interactive versions of the visualizations shown below. To help extract insights from this wealth of data, in this summary we analyze the trends that have emerged out of this in-depth coverage of how the energy storage landscape looks like in 2017 thus far, using the following heat map:

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Membrane Startups Differentiate With Novel Materials in Crowded Municipal and Industrial Markets

Advances in membrane technology provide one of the most promising areas in water and wastewater treatment today. While the brackish and seawater desalination market has seen a rapid uptake in membrane technology in the past, using membranes for treatment and advanced separations has now become more common across municipal and industrial markets. Membranes are passive elements that provide a barrier against contaminants, but a key advantage that technology providers are trying to exploit today is their ability to provide an alternative to high-energy separations such as distillation, for instance, to separate salts, concentrate brine, or dehydrate solvents. A good example of this is the desalination market, where thermal desalination capacity has seen a steady decline in comparison to membrane-based technologies that dominate with over 62% of the market. Continue reading

Sizing up Selective Laser Sintering System Providers

Selective laser sintering is a powder bed printing technology that raster’s a laser over a bed of very fine plastic powder and sinters it to produce individual part layers. To see what this long-standing technology’s outlook is, our analysts have taken a comparative look at the SLS system provider and materials landscape. Continue reading

Lux Highlights the Key Themes From BIO World Congress 2017

Lux recently presented at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology. Although the event’s topics ranged from renewable chemicals and materials to biofuels to synthetic biology, three key themes emerged: Continue reading

Blockchain in Health: A Survey of Emerging Use Cases

Earlier this week, healthcare IT firm Change Healthcare became the newest member of the Hashed Health Blockchain Consortium, a distributed ledger consortium whose goal is to advance the use of blockchain protocols in healthcare. The expansion of this group and the quest for the establishment of standards for implementation of blockchain in healthcare are not surprising – the last year has witnessed a  sharp uptick in developers looking to bring blockchain to the industry. However, while the number of companies starting to apply blockchain – a distributed ledger technology that claims to offer several benefits over traditional databases, such as improved trustworthiness and automated smart contracts – to healthcare is growing, and while there certainly is a lot of hype surrounding this activity, there still remains confusion on the specific challenges these companies are looking to tackle and on the value they promise to deliver. In the table below, we synthesize currently sought-after use cases for blockchain in health, outline tech developers’ claims, and highlight players in each solution category.

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Replacing Sugar: More Than Just Sweet

Reducing and substituting for sucrose has been the heartache of food and beverage companies for the past few decades. There are many products trying to do what sugar does, but landing slightly left of ideal, at best. Sugar possesses unique properties in combination that are difficult to replicate with just one product. We have grouped sugar substitutes into categories of origin. Each replacement category includes a variety of options for sweeteners and comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Continue reading

Sensing Opportunities in Predictive Maintenance Technology Innovation

We have expressed previously that predictive maintenance (PdM) is one of the most promising areas of the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and that there are a number of startups developing innovative sensor-based and/or software solutions. To identify where these technology developers are innovating, we took a look at the patent activity on PdM. During the past 20 years, there have been approximately 4,400 patents focused on PdM applications, and companies are filing more patent applications every year to differentiate themselves and protect their models, algorithms, or hardware-based solutions. In our “Predictive Maintenance: The Art of Uptime” report, we mentioned that innovations in connected sensing technologies and analytics are driving better operations, enabling users to gather and process real-time data on machine health to decrease downtime. For example, a study related to the oil and gas (O&G) industry revealed that performing PdM using a data-driven approach with sensors experienced 36% less unplanned downtime. There is still significant space for companies to decrease their unplanned downtime, and one method to do that is by adding more data streams from sensors. Therefore, we filtered our search to focus only on developments in PdM using sensing technologies, and we can see in Figure 1 that the IP space has been increasingly more active since 2014. Nonetheless, the patents aiming to protect sensor-based PdM are roughly 30% of the total amount of IP seeking protection for PdM applications.

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The Multifortress Strategy: One Approach for Corporate Survival in the Chemicals and Materials Sector

An increasing number of major global chemical firms are adopting a similar approach to constructing their companies: assembling a handful of diverse and established chemical and material businesses each with a high manufacturing entry barrier. Lux calls this approach the Multifortress Strategy. The high entry barrier creates the fortress-like nature of the individual businesses. The revenue of the various businesses added together creates a corporate entity of sustainable size. The multiple businesses also offer some protection from a downturn in one or a few businesses. Continue reading