Industry Trends Currently in the U.S. opthalmic device market, competition is limited from manufacturers that are either new or trying to expand into the U.S. market. Many ophthalmic device manufacturers have recently entered the market. Some of these companies are based in Italy, Japan and China, and severely undercut the prices in order to gain market
The full report suite on the U.S. market for interventional ophthalmic devices includes disease rates, ophthalmic lasers, intraocular lenses (IOLs), phacoemulsification consoles, ophthalmic viscosurgical devices (OVDs) and glaucoma shunts. Currently the U.S. market for interventional ophthalmic devices is being limited by high prices. High prices for the capital equipment in this market are passed on to the consumer as much of the interventional market is based upon elective surgeries. While many are willing to pay for premiums to undergo corrective surgery others will seek out alternative solutions or decide to live with their vision issues.
Several types of IOLs are used for cataract surgery. The most common is the monofocal IOL, which allows for focus at a fixed distance. A disadvantage of the monofocal IOL is the requirement of the patient to wear corrective lenses after cataract surgery. Monofocal lenses include both spheric and aspheric IOLs. The difference between the two is in the surface of the lens, whether it is spherical or aspherical. This curvature is related to the correction of spherical aberration, or the excessive refractive power of the cornea at its periphery. Aspheric lenses are generally considered to be superior. They have been shown to produce clearer vision and greater contrast sensitivity. In the Nordic region 90% of the market is aspheric. Southern Europe uses more spherical lenses while Germany uses more aspheric. However, the use of aspheric IOLs involves a trade-off, with conventional (spheric) IOLs having been shown to produce better depth of focus and near vision.
Refractive errors can be corrected by procedures such as Phakic IOL implantation and Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK). LASIK modifies corneal thickness; thus it is limited by the amount of corneal tissue that can be safely removed. If too much is removed, the cornea becomes too thin and weak, and bulging of the cornea could occur, which is a condition known as ectasia. Treatment of ectasia involves exchanging the cornea in a procedure called keratoplasty, which leaves the patient with very poor vision. Phakic IOL implantation has the advantage of being able to correct a higher degree of refractive error than LASIK. Even with these disadvantages, LASIK is the leading refractive surgery procedure because phakic IOL implantation is more expensive, and implantation of these lenses is a more invasive procedure.
In 2016, more integration was seen in the overall market for diagnostic and interventional ophthalmic devices. In the diagnostic space, practitioners are enjoying better, more flexible diagnostic capabilities with ophthalmic data management systems; these systems unify discrete pieces of diagnostic equipment. A similar technology, procedure planning software, unifies different surgical equipment for more precise and reliable cataract surgery. This software is bringing the diagnostic and interventional sides of the market closer together, with diagnostic information being imported for use during the surgical process. Integration is also changing the competitive landscape. Topcon and Carl Zeiss Meditec, players traditionally focused on diagnostics, are now gaining footholds in the market for surgical products.