Top R&D innovators in med tech

Devicemakers didn’t hold back when it came to R&D in 2015. The industry’s top companies spent a total of $11.670 billion developing new devices and diagnostics last year, an 8% increase from 2014.

For some companies, the commitment to R&D came amid struggle. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), facing the decline of its medical device business, concentrated on product development and high-growth areas to power to a turnaround.

Boston Scientific ($BSX) also turned to R&D to revive itself after a few disappointing quarters. At least for now, it seems to be succeeding: A majority of the company’s units posted double-digit growth in the first quarter, giving the Massachusetts device giant extra ammo for dealmaking and product development.

Other companies delivered on R&D to stay true to their word. Medtronic ($MDT) promised that last year’s deal with Covidien ($COV) would result in more R&D spending in the U.S., and the company did not disappoint. It nearly doubled its R&D budget last year and detailed a variety of projects, including its artificial pancreas and surgical robotics platform.

What’s in store for the next year of R&D remains to be seen. But at least for now, these 10 companies have a rolling start. -- Emily Wasserman (email | Twitter)

*This list is based on data from EvaluateMedTech, to which we are grateful. The R&D budget figures are specifically for medical devices and diagnostics, but are structured to exclude life science research tools. Some data for companies that do not have a calendar fiscal year has been annualized.

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