Microkeratomes are medical devices used in ophthalmology to create thin flaps in the cornea during refractive surgery procedures such as LASIK.
The global microkeratome market is estimated to be valued at US$ 910.3 million in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period (2023-2030).
The microkeratome market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to rising number of refractive surgeries and technological advancements in microkeratome devices. According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, over 1.5 million refractive surgeries were performed in the US in 2020. Furthermore, new microkeratome devices feature improved suction rings, oscillating blades, and wireless connectivity capabilities for better precision and safety. Manufacturers are also developing laser-assisted microkeratomes to reduce complications associated with mechanical microkeratomes. These factors are expected to boost demand for microkeratomes over the forecast period.
Increasing Prevalence of Refractive Errors Driving Demand for Microkeratomes
Refractive errors have become increasingly common around the world. Conditions like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism affect a large portion of the global population and require surgical correction. Microkeratomes are an essential part of refractive surgery procedures like LASIK which aim to correct refractive errors. With growing awareness about refractive surgery and a rising geriatric population prone to developing refractive errors, the need for microkeratomes is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.
Advancements in Microkeratome Technology Fueling their Adoption
Continuous innovation is taking place in microkeratome design with manufacturers introducing new features to improve safety, precision and wound consistency. Advances like adjustable microkeratome blades, smooth dissection profiles, integrated headlights and vacuum assisted corneal holds have enhanced the efficacy and reproducibility of microkeratome cuts. Such technological evolutions are increasing visibility and confidence among surgeons in microkeratomes, thereby augmenting their uptake.
High Cost of Advanced Microkeratomes Hindering Widespread Use
While advancements have increased the capabilities of microkeratomes, they have also led to a rise in prices. Features like blade oscillation, variable spot sizes and integrated optical coherence tomography come at a premium which restricts access, especially in price sensitive developing markets. The high initial investment required for purchasing technologically sophisticated microkeratomes poses a major barrier, compelling some surgeons to opt for inexpensive traditional devices or altogether different flap creation techniques like femtosecond lasers. Unless costs are brought down through economical options or subsidization, affordability will continue impacting microkeratome sales.
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Growing Demand for Refractive Surgery in Emerging Markets Presenting Lucrative Prospects
With expanding middle classes and rising disposable incomes, many developing Asian, Latin American and African countries are witnessing a surge in refractive surgery volumes. These regions accounted for a miniscule share of the global microkeratome market in the past but are now emerging as highly promising growth avenues. Manufacturers can tap into the substantial untapped market potential through suitable pricing, financing options and increased awareness campaigns. Technology transfer initiatives as well as partnership with local players would allow microkeratome companies to gain a foothold and reap the benefits of rapid refractive surgery growth in emerging markets.
Integration of Microkeratomes with Digital Technology Trending in Industry
Leveraging the capabilities of digital technology has become a focal area for microkeratome developers. Efforts are underway to incorporate advanced tools like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, 3D printing and data analytics into microkeratomes. Some of the technologies being explored include AI-assisted planning and simulation of incisions, use of 3D printed customized metal blades and integration with digital surgical ecosystem for automated documentation and remote monitoring. When commercialized, such digitally enhanced microkeratomes are expected to deliver higher precision, consistency and interconnected workflow advantages. Their launch will shape the future evolution of the microkeratome market in the years to come.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it