Artificial Retina Market size is expected to witness significant growth over 2021-2027, owing to the growing prevalence of eye-related disorders among the global population. These ailments can cause considerable visual impairment and are thus triggering a rise in healthcare expenditure towards the development of advanced ophthalmological solutions.
An artificial retina refers to an electronic device, designed to replicate the sense of vision, for individuals with severe retinal ailments. The device consists of eyeglasses equipped with a miniature camera, that can capture images and wirelessly transmit them to a microprocessor, which converts the data into electronic signals. It then transmits these signals to a receiver implanted on the eye, directly to the remaining viable cells of the retina, bypassing defunct photoreceptor cells.
One of the most prominent factors driving market growth during the forecast timeframe is the escalating investment in ophthalmological R&D and innovations worldwide. Several nations are shifting their focus towards mitigating the prevalence of blindness in their countries, through the adoption of technology and innovation. For instance, in 2020, the Barraquer Foundation collaborated with ICFO (Institute of Photonic Sciences), ICN2 (Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology), IFAE (Institute of High Energy Physics) and the Institute of Vision of Paris, to participate in an innovative artificial retina implantation project, dubbed i-VISION, aimed at restoring the vision of people with blindness.
With respect to type, the subretinal implants segment is poised to account for a sizeable share of the market by 2027. This is credited mainly to the significant advantages offered by the product over its counterparts. Unlike conventional epiretinal implants, subretinal implants do not require external cameras for image capturing. Furthermore, higher concentration of electrodes allows the implant to create more vibrancy in dark and light images, and in turn improve visual resolution.
From a regional perspective, Europe will emerge as a lucrative revenue pocket for the artificial retina market during the forecast timeline, owing to massive R&D investments, and keen focus on medical technology development in the region. To illustrate, in December 2020, a Complutense University of Madrid-led global research made strides in solving the issue of AMD-related blindness, with the creation of the world’s first biohybrid artificial retina, developed using retinal cells and silk fibroin.
Key players contributing to global market expansion include Nano Retina (Rainbow Medical), Pixium Vision and Bionic Vision Technologies, among others. Numerous strategic tactics are being employed by these companies to maintain a strong position in the global market, from R&D developments and collaborations to new product launches, and more.
For instance, in March 2020, Nano Retina announced preliminary results from the first-in-human transplant of its artificial retina device, NR600. The retinal implant, designed to replicate the natural physiological processes of the human eye, demonstrated considerable visual effects upon activation, creating opportunities for further optimization.
In March 2021, leading manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics, Second Sight Medical Products, announced FDA approval for its Argus 2s Retinal Prosthesis System. The new system consists of a revamped set of external hardware, including video processing unit and glasses, to be used in combination with priorly implanted Argus II systems, for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa patients.
Since its categorization as a pandemic by the WHO in 2020, the COVID-19 disease has created unprecedented pressure on the healthcare systems across the globe. As of December 2020, over 1.7 million COVID-19-related deaths have been recorded, with numerous countries facing second or third waves of the infection. The impact has especially been felt in the ophthalmology sector, with many people limiting interactions with healthcare providers for non-urgent purposes, triggering a significant rise in vision-related issues. Over 10,000 people were projected to be at risk of irreversible vision impairment in the UK alone, due to missed care in the lockdown period.
However, recent emerging information regarding the eye-related impacts of the coronavirus infection may propel the market value. Once considered a respiratory illness, COVID-19 is rapidly becoming a systemic infection, affecting various organs. Based on a new research published in the EClinicalMedicine journal, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been observed to target the retina in some cases, leading to various vision-related issues, which could in turn amplify the focus on retinal implants over the years ahead.
Market, by Type, 2014-2025 (USD Million)
Market, by End-use, 2014-2025 (USD Million)
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