Optical coherence tomography expected to propel clinical optical imaging market to $2B in 2020

Lux Research (Boston, MA) reports that the clinical optical imaging market—led by optical coherence tomography (OCT)—will rise to $2 billion in 2020, more than doubling from 2012.

With a market share of over 60 percent, OCT is expected to retain its dominant position as it builds on ophthalmology applications while expanding into cardiology, oncology, and gastroenterology. Other technologies such as near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and photoacoustic tomography (PAT) also hold high potential for growth, while applications such as real-time optical biopsies and surgical guidance will grow into multi-billion-dollar segments over the long term.

Optical coherence tomography expected to propel clinical optical imaging market to $2B in 2020

Lux Research analysts examined 16 technology developers in the optical imaging industry, and evaluated them on the Lux Innovation Grid. Among its findings:


  • Leaders ready to deliver to market. Mela Sciences, Bioptigen, and Infraredx are the leaders in novel clinical optical imaging technologies, rated “Dominant” on the Lux Innovation Grid. Each has achieved FDA and CE clearances, allowing it to market its products in the United States and Europe.
  • Cost-cutters show potential. Typical OCT systems, the size of a medical cart, cost on average between $80,000 and $250,000. Compact Imaging, rated "High Potential," is working to make these devices more affordable by turning toward solid-state components instead of discrete optical elements.
  • Multimodal systems are long-term targets. While investors looking to enter the OCT market can use acquisitions to gain immediate market share, their longer-term focus should be on firms developing multimodal systems such as PAT. These systems combine the most attractive features of constituent technologies—for instance, the penetration depth of ultrasound with resolution of optical systems—and potentially address much larger markets.

The report, titled "Advancing Clinical Imaging Beyond the Existing Standard of Care: Evaluating New Optical Imaging Modalities," is available for download at https://portal.luxresearchinc.com/research/report_excerpt/18129.


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