How good is the OCT equipment market these days? It grew in 2009, despite the recession, and that's in units, not just exchange rate adjustments. That’s how good it is. What’s more, we’re expecting 20% compound growth through 2014. This is from our latest OCT market report, now officially released.
If you don’t know what it is, OCT is a great imaging technology. OCT systems use advanced optics to construct micron-scale cross-sectional and 3D images in real time. The technique is non-invasive and can be used in vivo, such as to examine the inside of the human eye. The business is now entering a new phase, beyond ophthalmology to new specialties, such as looking inside arteries for cardiology. Each of these applications has the potential to be as big or bigger than the sales today in ophthalmology.
OCT may sound arcane, especially if you have to pronounce its full name. But this is big stuff, with equipment sales now in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Much of the 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.
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 8 medical specialties, 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.
Oh, and did I mention? Our market report is the only comprehensive report on the topic, a follow-on to an earlier report, also sponsored by PennWell. Kudos to our good friend, Greg Smolka.