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.
LASERs, which stands for Light Amplification (by) Stimulated Emission (of) Radiation, were developed in 1960 by Theodore Maiman. Lasers were quickly adopted for ophthalmology with the first instance of their clinical use appearing in 1963. Over the last 50 years ophthalmic lasers have proliferated in both types of lasers and indications. Despite this diversity, all lasers function on the same fundamental principles. Lasers are created when the electrons in atoms in special glasses, crystal or gases absorb energy from an electrical current or another laser and become excited/elevated to a higher energy state. Electron orbits are less stable at these higher energy states, thus energy is released in the form of a photon which allows the electron to return to its ground state. Photons are particles of light, however, what makes laser photons unique is that they are all of the same wavelength, directional, and coherent (meaning the crests and troughs of the light waves are aligned) whereas ordinary light comprises multiple wavelengths and is not coherent.
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.