Femtosecond laser is a type of ophthalmic laser that works by generating photodisruption or photoionization of the optically transparent tissue such as the cornea. It emits pulses with durations between a few femtoseconds and hundreds of femtoseconds, and is also known as ultrafast laser. Femtosecond laser eliminates the need for bladed surgical tools for creating corneal flap. It also offers reduced amount of collateral damage making it safe for usage in corneal surgeries that require precision. This type of ophthalmic laser has applications in corneal refractive surgery including LASIK flap creation, astigmatic keratotomy (AK), channel creation for implantation of intrastromal corneal ring segments (ICRS), femtosecond lenticule extraction (FLEx), presbyopia correction, small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), and intrastromal presbyopia correction (INTRACOR). The FDA approval for a number of femtosecond lasers boosts market growth.
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Global Ophthalmic Femtosecond Market: Dynamics
Technological Advancements in Ophthalmic Femtosecond Laser Boost Market Growth
Eye-related disorders have emerged as potential threats to the populations in all middle-income and industrialized countries. Leading causes of vision impairment include uncorrected refractive errors, cataract, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal opacity, and trachoma. Femtosecond laser technology has been widely adopted by ophthalmic surgeons for cataract surgery, corneal surgery, refractive surgery, and other applications due to several advantages over traditional manual techniques. It offers numerous applications and various new treatment possibilities in many fields of ophthalmic anterior segment surgery.
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The global ophthalmic femtosecond market is moderately competitive and consists of several major players. Responding to increase in patient demand for treatment beyond cataract and refractive surgeries, femtosecond manufacturing companies are continuously investing in research and development for inventing new technology and devices. At the 2018 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting, three manufacturers announced 510(k) clearances from the FDA for three femtosecond lasers for new indications. These systems will support presbyopia-correcting procedures, facilitate keratoconus treatments, and address astigmatism. In 2016, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG received the FDA approval for its VisuMax Femtosecond Laser device, which helps in small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure to eliminate or reduce nearsightedness in certain patients 22 years of age or older.
Hence, continuous invention and technologically advanced product launch are projected to drive the global ophthalmic femtosecond market during the forecast period.
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High Cost Associated with Ophthalmic Laser Procedures Hampers Market Growth
Laser surgery usually costs more than traditional surgery, and the extra cost associated with laser surgery are not covered by medical or health insurance. More than 80% of surgeons charge US$ 1,000 per eye for femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery. Whereas 15.0% to 17.0% surgeons charge US$ 1,000 to US$ 1,500 per eye for the cataract surgery. According to an article, in 2017, average premium for laser arcuate incisions for astigmatism correction was US$ 1,188 per eye. People in developing and underdeveloped countries cannot afford such high treatment costs. This is likely to restrain the global market.
Global Ophthalmic Femtosecond Market – Competitive Landscape
Major players operating in the global ophthalmic femtosecond market include Bausch + Lomb Incorporated, Alcon (Novartis AG), Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., Femtoblanc, Inc., ROWIAK GmbH, Ziemer USA, Inc., and Carl Zeiss Meditec AG.
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Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.
Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. is the world’s largest and most broadly based health care company, providing services for more than 130 years to keep people well at every age and stage of life. The company operates through three business segments: consumer products, medical devices, and pharmaceutical products. Vision care products including disposable contact lenses and ophthalmic products related to cataract and laser refractive surgery are offered under the medical devices segment. The company invented many of the treatments changing the trajectory of eye health, including extended depth of focus intraocular lenses for cataract patients with TECNIS Symfony, excimer, and femtosecond lasers, and soft disposable contact lenses. In September 2018, Johnson & Johnson Vision launched iDESIGN Refractive Studio for Next Generation of Personalized LASIK Treatment.
Bausch + Lomb Incorporated
Bausch Health Companies Inc., formerly known as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., completed the acquisition of Bausch + Lomb Incorporated in 2013. The three reportable segments of Bausch Health Companies, Inc. are Bausch + Lomb/International, Branded Rx, and U.S. Diversified Products. Among these, Bausch + Lomb/International accounts for more than 50% of the revenue of Bausch Health Companies, Inc. Bausch + Lomb/International has a diversified product line. VICTUS femtosecond laser offered by Bausch + Lomb Incorporated delivers multi-mode versatility for cataract and corneal procedures on a single platform.
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