The artificial retina market is primarily driven by the increasing developments associated with sub retinal implants for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Sub retinal implants are placed behind the retina and have proven to be safe and restore useful vision to a majority of patients who are blind because of RP. Artificial retina is an implant which consists of an array of microelectrodes and is used for the individuals who are visually impaired due to retinal diseases. The progress of artificial retina is to restore limited vision that enables people to read during mobility and to recognize individuals. Artificial retina has proved to be a breakthrough invention for the medical device industry, as it has provided hope to a large number of visually impaired patients globally.
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The device is made up of carbon nanotube biomimetic film with accessories such as a transmitter and a video processing unit. The global artificial retina market witnessed its first major breakthrough in 2013 with the approval of Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). It is a first implant device used to treat patients with RP. Various conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and RP, which influence many individuals around the world, destroy the photodetector cells in the retina and make vision worsen over time.
Increase in the prevalence of visually impaired patients, growing healthcare expenditure, rising government investment in R&D for artificial retina, and rise in geriatric population are the key factors driving the artificial retina market, globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Programme, around 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision (severe or moderate visual impairment), and the top causes of the blindness are cataracts, glaucoma and AMD.
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North America is expected to lead the global artificial retina market throughout the forecast period, followed by Europe. This is mainly due to strong healthcare infrastructure and high expenditure in R&D in these regions. The healthcare industry in North America is undergoing major transformation following the implementation of various healthcare reforms. Moreover, the region is home to over 10 million visually impaired population seeking effective treatment.
Some of the key players operating in the artificial retina industry include Nano Retina, Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., Optobionics, Aetna Inc., Pixium Vision, Retina Implant AG and Bionic Vision Technologies Pty Ltd.