The global artificial cornea and corneal implant market size was valued at USD 385 million in 2021, estimated to advance to USD 718 million at a CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period. A cloudy cornea is surgically removed and replaced with a clear donor cornea in a corneal transplant. Donated tissue comes from people who have generously given their eyes or organs to science for the benefit of others. Eye banks ensure that the donor corneas that are used in transplants remain in a fresh state at all times. In addition, patients who require a cornea transplant but cannot tolerate a cornea from a human donor have the option of receiving an artificial cornea instead.
Future growth of the global artificial cornea and corneal implant market is anticipated to be driven by the increasing geriatric population and prevalence of eye diseases. It is reported that approximately 10 million people worldwide have corneal blindness. Consequently, the primary factor driving the growth of the artificial cornea implant market is the increase in incidences of corneal blindness. In addition, the lack of human cornea donor availability is responsible for the market's rapid expansion. The likelihood of nerve regeneration following cornea transplantation with a human donor cornea is low, whereas the likelihood of nerve regeneration following implantation of a biosynthetic cornea is high.
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The Growing Cases of Eye Diseases Worldwide to Positively Share Industry Outlook
In recent years, the incidence of ophthalmic diseases like cataracts and glaucoma has increased dramatically. The rise in ophthalmic diseases has heightened the need for an accurate diagnosis to design optimal treatment and correction. This is anticipated to drive the market for artificial corneas and corneal implants.
According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in India, the number of people who have unilateral corneal blindness in 2020 was 10.6 million. According to the same study, 30.5% of blindness was attributed to corneal diseases. The fact that 90% of the globe's cases of ocular trauma and corneal ulceration resulting in corneal blindness occur in developing nations reflects the severity of the corneal disease. In the elderly, corneal degenerations, trauma-induced infectious keratitis, and trachomatous keratopathy are significant causes of corneal disorders.
To avoid corneal blindness, it is necessary to continually assess the prevalence of corneal blindness and conduct periodic reviews. This situation increases the demand for corneal implants, such as artificial implants used to treat corneal diseases. According to the World Health Organization, cataract is currently the leading cause of blindness, followed by glaucoma and other leading causes that result in blindness. A cataract is a primary concern on a global scale.
The Surge in Government Initiatives to Control Visual Impairment to Aid Growth
Governments are initiating programs to assess the global burden of visual impairment and assisting in developing guidelines to manage this burden effectively. Like, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) initiated the "Vision Health Initiative" to educate the public on eye abnormalities and the most modern diagnostic and treatment methods for managing them. This, in turn, contributes to a greater consciousness of artificial corneas and corneal implants. In addition, governments in developing nations are launching new initiatives to raise awareness about corneal donation, which contributes to the artificial cornea and corneal implant market.
Expenses of Ophthalmology and Surgical Procedures to Hinder Market Growth
Technological advances in ophthalmic lasers, such as the advancement of femtosecond lasers, have shortened the duration of surgical procedures and enhanced their efficacy and convenience. However, the high price of these tools is anticipated to limit their expansion. According to a study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), a femtosecond laser costs between USD 400,000 and USD 550,000. It is difficult to estimate the number of patients opting for femtosecond laser therapy over conventional techniques and whether the number of patients opting for the therapy is sufficient to cover the installation cost. The cost of laser eye surgery is determined by several variables, including the amount of correction required, the technology employed, and the experience and reputation of the surgeon. OCT angiography is also expensive for end-users, making OCT diagnostic tests costly for patients. These factors affect clinics and small diagnostic centers' purchase decisions for expensive equipment, restraining market growth.
Scarcity of Corneal Donors to Boost Market Opportunities
There is a high demand for corneal donors worldwide, as approximately 10 million individuals require transplants. In highly populated countries such as India, there is a severe shortage of donor corneas. At the same time, corneal blindness patients must wait more than six months for corneal transplants. In addition, due to corneal abnormalities, approximately 6.8 million Americans have impaired vision in one eye, and approximately 1 million have impaired vision in both eyes. Approximately 250,000 corneas are required annually in the United States, but only about 25,000 are donated. Due to the rapid occurrence of corneal blindness and the severe shortage of corneal donors, manufacturers of artificial corneal implants are anticipated to enjoy robust growth.
The global artificial cornea and corneal implant market are classified based on type, transplant type, disease indication, end-user, and region.
Based on type, the fragments include human cornea and artificial cornea.
The human cornea will have most of the market share at a CAGR of 8% during the forecast period. The cornea is the transparent tissue that protects the front of the eye. The growth of the elderly population susceptible to eye diseases is anticipated to drive artificial cornea and corneal implant market expansion. In addition, technological advancements and the rise of eye diseases on a global scale contribute to the expansion of the corneal implants market. The presence of organizations such as the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations, which advocate for policies to encourage effective corneal transplantation, positively affect the business's growth.
Artificial corneal will grow at the highest CAGR. The artificial cornea is an alternative for transplant patients who cannot tolerate cornea from a human donor. About 10 million people worldwide are affected by corneal blindness. Consequently, the expansion of the artificial cornea market is primarily driven by the increasing prevalence of corneal blindness and the lack of cornea donors worldwide. In addition, the rise in occurrences of trauma cases increases the likelihood of eye injury, which drives the expansion of this market.
Based on the transplant type, the fragments include penetrating keratoplasty, endothelial keratoplasty, anterior lamellar keratoplasty, and keratoprosthesis.
Penetrating Keratoplasty is expected to hold the largest market share advancing a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK) is the conventional technique for corneal transplantation, in which the central two-thirds of the diseased cornea is surgically removed and replaced with a healthy cornea from a human donor. Increased awareness of the significance of eye donation is anticipated to stimulate market expansion. In addition, improving eye care facilities, eye banking framework, and cornea trade protocols in developing nations is anticipated to contribute to artificial cornea and corneal implant market growth over the forecast period.
Endothelial Keratoplasty will hold the second-largest share. Endothelial Keratoplasty necessitates significantly smaller incisions than penetrating Keratoplasty, leading to reduced risks and a quicker recovery. Typically, corneal transplants are performed under local anesthesia. In less invasive procedures, the risk of graft rejection or refusal of donor tissue to properly attach to the patient's tissue is diminished. Consequently, they are more beneficial than other corneal implant procedures and are anticipated to drive market growth during the forecast period.
Based on disease indication, the fragments include fuchs' dystrophy, fungal keratitis, keratoconus, and others.
Fuchs' Dystrophy is expected to hold the largest market share advancing at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period. This occurs when cells in the corneal endothelium layer gradually die off. When organisms die, fluid accumulates, and the cornea becomes swollen and puffy. Vision becomes hazy or cloudy. Cataracts may form in Fuchs' dystrophy patients. In cases of cataracts with a mild or moderate Fuchs' severity, the only recommended treatment is surgery. Therefore, it will increase demand for corneal implants and propel market expansion.
Fungal Keratitis will hold the second-largest share growing at the highest CAGR. Fungi cause the corneal infection known as fungal keratitis. Trauma, contact lens use, topical corticosteroid use, diabetes mellitus, and low socioeconomic status are risk factors for fungal keratitis. Accidentally ocular trauma is the most prevalent risk factor for fungal keratitis.
Based on end-user, the global artificial cornea and corneal implant market are fragmented into hospitals & ambulatory surgical centers, and specialty clinics.
Hospitals & Ambulatory surgical centers will hold the largest market share growing at a CAGR of 6.3% during the forecast period. Hospitals are health care facilities with specialized medical and nursing personnel and advanced diagnostic equipment for diagnosing respiratory diseases. Clinics, on the other hand, can exist either within a hospital or as an independent entity outside of a hospital. These include the provision of trained medical technicians, accurate results, and payment for performed tests. Consequently, an increase in patient preference for ophthalmic treatments at hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers is anticipated to drive segment growth over the forecast period.
Specialty clinics will grow at a higher CAGR. As a global trend, general hospitals are being replaced by specialty clinics. Specialty clinics significantly contribute to bridging the gap between demand and availability of healthcare services and facilities by providing cost-effective and superior care. Additionally, the market for specialty clinics is highly fragmented in developed and developing nations, with numerous small and niche players.
The regional segmentation of the global artificial cornea and corneal implant market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Which Region Accounts For Most Demand For Artificial Cornea And Corneal Implants?
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North America will command the market with the largest share growing at a CAGR of 8.7% during the forecast period. A large portion of this region's market share is attributable to the region's established healthcare infrastructure, greater adoption of advanced healthcare technologies, higher budgets among consumers of ophthalmic devices, and a massive proportion of corneal implant manufacturers. Due to the most significant number of ophthalmic diagnostic, surgical, and vision correction procedures, North America has contributed the most to the global ophthalmic market.
According to the "Vision Health Initiative," over 4.2 million U.S. residents aged 40 or older are legally blind or suffer from low vision clarity. In the United States, age-related eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are the leading causes of blindness and low vision. These diseases necessitate complete eye examinations of patients to design an effective treatment based on the severity of the eye disorder, thereby driving the market growth. In addition, an increase in the prevalence of eye diseases, initiatives taken by governments for the prevention of eye health, an upsurge in awareness regarding cornea donation, and innovations in the artificial cornea are anticipated to support the region's dominance over the forecast period.
Asia-pacific will advance at the highest CAGR of 8.9% and reach USD 243 million by 2030. This is due to an increase in eye diseases, rising healthcare costs, and the maturation of the western market. Increasing awareness of cornea donation in the region also contributes to market expansion. Due to its large population base, the prevalence of chronic and lifestyle diseases, and rapid increase in the incidence of eye diseases, the Asia-Pacific region offers lucrative opportunities for artificial cornea and corneal implant market participants. During the forecast period, the artificial cornea and corneal implant market are anticipated to be propelled by an increase in the geriatric population base susceptible to ophthalmic diseases, as well as the use of artificial cornea in primary healthcare settings such as hospitals.
The region has become a hub for eye-related conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, AMD (age-related macular degeneration), and refractive errors. Japan, India, and China are among the Asia-Pacific nations with the highest prevalence of eye diseases. Japan has the highest incidence of glaucoma, followed by diabetic retinopathy. In addition, government spending on eye care research is projected to drive the demand during the forecast period. Furthermore, government funding would support various ophthalmology researches to develop an advanced artificial cornea, which is anticipated to boost the artificial cornea and corneal implant market in Asia-Pacific.