11 Jan 2010
Despite economic crisis, OCT market grows to $315 million in 2009
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is continuing its rapid expansion as a fast, high-resolution imaging tool for clinical diagnostics. According to a new study from US market research firm Strategies Unlimited, OCT systems sales grew to $315m in 2009, with a compound annual growth rate of 20% expected through 2014.
OCT systems use advanced interferometric techniques to construct micron-scale cross-sectional and 3D images in real-time. The imaging procedure is non-invasive and can be used in vivo – for example, to examine the inside of the human eye.
"Ophthalmology will remain the dominant OCT application for many years," noted Gregory Smolka, author of the report, "but several other applications are on the verge of expanding the market, each with potential markets equal to or larger than that of ophthalmology."
Much of this activity has been driven by a shift in the technology from time-domain systems to faster Fourier-domain systems, which are also not as limited by patent protection. Strategies Unlimited tips cardiovascular applications as the next to reach widespread adoption, driving rapid growth in that segment.
In terms of suppliers, Carl Zeiss Meditec no longer holds the majority of market share, even as its own revenue has grown. At least 21 other companies are developing and/or marketing OCT systems in eight medical disciplines, as well as in R&D and industrial applications.
Many more companies supply the sources, detectors and related components that enable OCT systems and applications, notes the study.