retinal imaging technology

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Optical coherence tomographers (OCTs) are out-competing mydriatic fundus cameras in the U.S. and Europe. Both of these devices examine the retina and surrounding area, but OCTs use non-invasive ultrasound technology, while mydriatic fundus cameras can require pupil-dilating drops and the injection of fluorescein.

“OCTs are typically more expensive than fundus cameras,” explains Dr. Kamran Zamanian, CEO of iData, “but often are multifunctional, with the ability to act as a fundus camera, or a laser scanning ophthalmoscope as well as an OCT. Instead of budget, the deciding factor for purchasers is usually the needs of the clinic. OCTs are expensive, and capital equipment sales have generally suffered in the intense economic environment of the last few years. But, these devices represent new technological advances that are having a major impact on the diagnostic capabilities of eye specialists.”

In the budgeting process for hospitals and private practices, funds are being earmarked for capital equipment projects that represent real technological advancement, and not just for the replacement of aging systems. As a result, sales of OCTs have remained strong.

OCT markets are two to three times larger than fundus camera markets in both Europe and the United States. In the U.S. specifically, the OCT market is expected to increase in value by more than USD $50 million over the next 5 years.

However, both in Europe and the U.S., the sales of simpler, non-mydriatic fundus cameras, or combination mydriatic/non-mydriatic cameras, will maintain a stable, niche market. These devices are often designed with ease-of-use in mind. With a diminishing supply of qualified technicians relative to the patient population, ease-of-use is becoming an important selling feature for many devices in the diagnostic space.

Leading Competitors for Retinal Imaging
Topcon holds the leading position for fundus cameras in the U.S. and Europe. Carl Zeiss Meditec and Canon also have sizable portions of market share, but Topcon generally leads by a notable margin. However, in the much more valuable OCT market, Carl Zeiss is the clear market leader, both in the U.S. and Europe. Topcon has a presence in OCTs, but has a long way to go before their OCT market share starts to threaten the dominance of Carl Zeiss.

For More Information
The iData report series on ophthalmic devices covers the U.S. and Europe and includes data on markets for OCTs, fundus cameras, slit lamps, perimeters, tonometers, ophthalmic ultrasound systems, corneal topographers, wavefront aberrometers, phacoemulsification consoles, intraocular lenses, and phakic intraocular lenses.

Full reports provide a comprehensive analysis including procedure numbers, units sold, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analyses of major players’ success strategies in each market and segment.