Competitive and technology intelligence to reveal the most influential authors and inter-institutional collaborations on additive manufacturing for hand orthoses

Leonardo A. Garcia-Garcia, Marisela Rodríguez

Abstract


Additive manufacturing (AM) is revolutionizing the health industry, where it
provides innovative solutions for the production of personalized devices, such as hand orthoses.
However, the scientific research dynamics in this topic have not yet been investigated. This
study aims to fill this gap through the application of a competitive and technology intelligence
(CTI) methodology enhanced by a scientometric and network map analysis. Major advances in
the fabrication of hand orthoses using AM, the presence of collaborations, and the most
influential authors were determined. Specifically, network map analysis, bibliographic
occurrence and bibliographic coupling were conducted on documents retrieved from Scopus and
the Web of Science (WoS), and on patents from more than 104 authorities. Results showed only
nine published patent families and 34 research articles on this topic from 2006 to 2016. Ten
papers concern static orthoses, while 24 deal with dynamic orthoses and exoskeletons. The
indegree and outdegree parameters and the betweenness centrality of these documents enabled
us to determine the most cited authors and instances of collaboration (papers co-authored
between institutions). Dr. Paterson A. M. J. was the most influential author, with four
publications with the highest betweenness centrality in the network (189), which accounted for
the most cited document with five citations. The institution with the most publications was
Loughborough University, with four papers, and the collaboration between affiliations was rare.
These documents review important aspects of manufacturing orthoses using AM, and
additionally pay particular attention to the importance of personalised orthoses where AM
contributes. Notably, these papers focused primarily on studies for the development of a
methodology for the fabrication of hand orthoses using AM, but they do not present any
application. This research provides insights to better understand the dynamics of research and
development in the orthopaedics domain, specifically for hand orthoses.


Keywords


3D printing, additive manufacturing, betweenness centrality, bibliographic coupling, competitive intelligence, hand orthoses, network map analysis, scientometrics

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