Ocular implants are medical devices that are implanted in the eye with the aim of treating ocular disorders or improving vision. Common ocular implants include intraocular lenses, glaucoma drainage devices, corneal inlays/onlays, and retinal implants.
The global ocular implant market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to the rising incidence of eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people with age-related macular degeneration is projected to increase to 196 million by 2020 from 64 million in 2020. Another major factor driving the market growth is the technological advancements in ocular implants. Newer generation ocular implants offer more biocompatibility, reduced risk of infections and improve visual acuity compared to traditional implants. Furthermore, rising awareness regarding various ocular diseases and their treatment options along with growing healthcare expenditure is expected to fuel the demand for ocular implants over the forecast period.
Rising prevalence of ocular disorders and diseases is a major driver for the Ocular Implant Market
The prevalence of various ocular disorders and diseases has been increasing significantly across the globe. Some key statistics- Around 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, with this number projected to increase to 397 million by 2030. Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and above in developed countries. Cataract is the leading cause of blindness globally, affecting over 20 million people. Glaucoma also impacts around 80 million people worldwide. The rising cases of such conditions is driving greater demand for various ocular implants like intraocular lenses, glaucoma drainage devices and retinal implants which help treat these disorders. Many new product launches catering to specific disorders and the development of innovative implant materials and designs to improve visual outcomes is also fueling market growth.
Increased governmental support and funding for eye care and related research
Governments across countries have been actively supporting initiatives to spread better awareness about eye care and vision disorders. Significant funding is also being allocated for research related to new implant designs, materials and surgical techniques. For instance, the US government allocates around $776 million annually for vision research through the National Eye Institute. The UK government has invested over £180 million for eye research through organizations like the National Institute for Health Research. Funding bodies also provide grants for clinical trials of new ocular implant products. This increased governmental backing is encouraging more R&D efforts and new product approval, benefiting the overall market.
Stringent regulatory environment poses a challenge for market growth
The development and commercialization of any new ocular implant requires lengthy clinical trials and approvals from regulatory bodies like the FDA and EMA to ensure patient safety. The pre-clinical testing, device evaluation and clinical investigation stages involve significant costs and lengthy review periods, making the approval process highly regulated and complex. Any issues during trials can delay approvals. Post-market surveillance is also mandated. This stringent regulatory environment increases risks and investment needs, acting as a deterrent especially for smaller players. Navigating the regulatory landscape requires expertise and compliance which poses operational and financial challenges. However, some initiatives to speed up reviews for devices addressing high unmet needs provide some relief. Nonetheless, regulations present a major restrain for quicker market expansion
Ageing population represents a major opportunity
Population ageing is a significant global demographic trend, with the number of people aged 65 years and above projected to double from 703 million currently to 1.5 billion by 2050 according to the UN. The elderly are more susceptible to various ocular disorders due to physiological changes with increasing age. For example, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries in the 65+ demographic. Cataract prevalence also increases sharply post the age of 60 years. This large and growing aged base translates to a substantial patient pool needing ocular implant procedures in the coming years. Leveraging this opportunity through specially tailored product offerings, expanded availability and coverage will be important for market players going forward.
Increasing adoption of minimally invasive implantation techniques
A prominent trend in the ocular implant market has been the rising adoption of minimally invasive surgical techniques over conventional procedures. Implants are increasingly being designed to enable procedures like small incision cataract surgery and less invasive glaucoma surgeries which require only tiny incisions. This translates to benefits like reduced trauma, quicker recovery times, less pain and lower risks of infection for patients. For surgeons, it allows conducting procedures with enhanced precision using advanced equipment. Minimally invasive techniques are gaining popularity as they provide superior visual and clinical outcomes. Market players are investing in innovations augmenting this shift which is improving patient acceptance and driving the market overall.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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