For eye care professionals taking part in the battle against eye disease, glaucoma arguably presents their greatest opponent.
Affecting the lives of over 60 million people, glaucoma – a collection of ocular ailments that lead to optic nerve damage – is the second most common cause of blindness. It is also the leading cause of bilateral, irreversible blindness worldwide.
Characterized by high intraocular pressure as a result of impaired fluid drainage, glaucoma’s leading causes include aging, obesity and diabetes. These long-term conditions contribute to permanent vision damage over an extended period of time. Glaucoma’s gradual weakening of one’s vision has even prompted an intimidating alias as ‘The Silent Thief of Sight’.
Pharmaceutical drugs like prostaglandins and beta blockers are among the existing treatments for glaucoma. Laser therapy, surgical filtering and drainage implants present alternative methods of management.
The glaucoma-treating surgical devices market has experienced extensive technological advancement since being established. These developments have fueled much speculation surrounding the market’s high growth potential in recent years.
For ophthalmologists, their practices and the wider ophthalmology industry the future looks especially bright after one report made several headlines.
MicroMarket Monitor – a market research agency – is forecasting strong growth in the North American glaucoma-treating surgical devices market. Recently valued at $94.9 million back in 2014, the continental industry is estimated to grow to $138.3 million by 2019 for a compound annual growth rate of 7.8 percent each year.
The agency compiled these numbers after analyzing financial information from SEC filings and interviews with industry experts including CEOs and marketing executives who had a vested interest in glaucoma treatment.
The report also segmented the North American glaucoma-treating surgical devices market by nation. The U.S. owned the continent’s largest market share at 90 percent in 2014 with a value of $85.4 million that is expected to reach to $124.7 million by 2019.
Israel, Australia and Europe are also home to some of the world’s most significant glaucoma surgery device companies. Among them are Lumenis Ltd. (Israel), Ellex Medical Lasers Ltd. (Australia), Alcon, Inc. (Switzerland) and Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (Germany). The North American glaucoma surgery device market’s key players include Abbott Laboratories (U.S.), Nidek Co., Ltd. (U.S.) and IRIDEX Corporation (U.S.).
The news is also of interest to the professionals here at Fundus Photo.
Despite the popularity of optical coherence tomography (OCT), fundus photography’s role in identifying glaucoma-related structural changes remains prominent. Fundus photographs never go out of date while OCT results change with each new generation of device and are not usually backwards compatible. Fundus Photo’s digital upgrade adapters allow ophthalmologists to preserve and circulate these images in digital form.
Speaking on MicroMarket Monitor’s positive report, Fundus Photo’s CEO Dale Brodsky explained its significance in the wider context of healing patients: “While Fundus Photo is pleased to be a part of such a flourishing industry, we are even more delighted by the prospect of North America’s growing glaucoma-treating surgical devices market promoting a greater awareness of eye care conditions throughout the continent.
“The ophthalmologist’s fight against eye disease continues with 11 million more U.S. residents expected to succumb to glaucoma-induced blindness by 2020. By influencing people to proactively seek out eye screenings, we hope new ophthalmic technologies will help professionals detect glaucoma and other eye diseases at an earlier stage. In the majority of cases, faster diagnosis leads to more effective treatment.”
With a projected influx of capital set to enter the ophthalmology industry through investment in glaucoma-treating surgical devices, the question remains if this market’s growth will translate to higher budgets for public awareness campaigns. By promoting the benefits of preemptive eye care screenings, ophthalmologists can detect glaucoma in its earliest stages for more effective treatment.
MicroMarket Monitor’s full report is available for purchase at www.micromarketmonitor.com/market/north-america-glaucoma-surgery-devices-8830146604.html.
About Fundus Photo
Fundus Photo is the only ophthalmic digital imaging provider in this segment to earn US FDA 510(k) and ISO clearance for commercial distribution in the United States in accordance with Medicare program requirements. The company’s technology also offers system versions in full compliance with DICOM standards. To read Fundus Photo’s DICOM conformance statement, click here. For more information about Fundus Photo’s complete imaging solutions, click www.fundusphoto.com.