Research and innovation in big data in the clinical trial operations sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of big data related patent applications in the industry stood at 27 in the three months ending April – down from 42 over the same period in 2021.

Figures for patent grants related to big data followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 11 in the three months ending April 2021 to one 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.

Big data 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.

Pfizer Inc was the top big data innovator in the clinical trial operations sector in the latest quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 14 big data related patents in the three months ending April. That was down from 15 over the same period in 2021.

It was followed by the United States based Johnson & Johnson with six big data patent applications, the United States based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (4 applications), and Switzerland based F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (3 applications).