The ophthalmic equipment market is projected to reach USD 58.44 billion by 2023 from USD 49.30 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 3.5%.
Growth in this market is primarily due to the rapid growth in the geriatric population, rising prevalence of eye diseases, technological advancements in ophthalmic devices, increasing government initiatives to control visual impairment, and increasing adoption of contact lenses and spectacles. The low adoption of phacoemulsification devices and premium IOLs in emerging regions and the untapped emerging markets are expected to offer significant growth opportunities for players in the ophthalmology devices market in the coming years.
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Low adoption of phacoemulsification devices and premium iols in emerging regions
Phacoemulsification is regarded as one of the most effective technique for treatment of cataract. However, there are markets where this technique is not used predominantly. Globally, 60% cataract procedures use phacoemulsification; however, in Asia, less than 25% cataract surgeries are performed using this technology. In India, this share is even lower—17%. Premium lenses are also used in only 8% of all cataract procedures, despite their advantages over standard IOLs. Lack of awareness is a major reason for their lower adoption.
The low adoption of phacoemulsification and premium IOLs represent huge opportunities for growth, especially in the emerging markets in the Asia Pacific and Latin American regions.
Lack of awareness, low accessibility to eye care products in low-income economies
Awareness and knowledge about eye diseases are very low among rural populations of developing countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Kenya, and South Africa. These countries are also marked by reduced or limited access to advanced ophthalmic devices. As much as 50% of world’s blind population, which amounts to around 15 million, lives in India. A key factor driving the prevalence of blindness is the insufficient availability of primary eye care; this is compounded by a lack of awareness and poor access to quality eye care products. In countries where large proportions of the population live in rural regions, accessibility and affordability of quality healthcare products and services remain a major issue.
To resolve this situation, a number of public and private initiatives and programs have been undertaken in such countries. For example, Alcon (US) provided USD 2 million in 2014 and 2016 to support the Think About Your Eyes awareness campaign. In addition, as part of the UN’s ‘VISION 2020’ initiative, Carl Zeiss Meditec (Germany) supports many local social initiatives in order to provide training and advance education for physicians and medical staff. These initiatives, in turn, are expected to mitigate the effects of the above-mentioned challenges to a degree.
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