The use of optical technologies in clinics is currently limited due to restricted availability of validated data and low end-user awareness. However, technological advances, along with manufacturers' emphasis on promoting end-user education, are likely to result in some optical technologies, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescence spectroscopy, gaining market presence in certain applications such as ophthalmology, dentistry, and cancer screening over the next five to ten years.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (drugdiscovery.frost.com), Strategic Analysis of Optical Imaging Technologies in U.S. Clinical Diagnostics and Drug Discovery Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of over $75.60 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $302.40 million in 2014.
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"Optics-based technologies have the potential to improve the accuracy of pathological diagnosis and expedite the process of drug discovery," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Madhu Sharma, Ph.D. "Additionally, exponential growth in biomarkers and reagent tools support the development of optical tools for drug discovery applications."
Optical technologies are likely to be an ideal method for the future, as they support breadth of applications, have low costs, and are non-invasive. Overall, this market is still in its infancy; however, it has seen notable improvements in the last decade. Certain segments have seen increased growth in recent years, such as OCT for ophthalmic and dental applications and fluorescence imaging.
Optical technologies in the clinical imaging market have considerable potential for growth in the next five to ten years, stemming from their vital role in the early diagnosis of diseases. Applications in the field of oncology and cardiovascular diseases are likely to be a part of the growing list of applications benefiting from non-invasive optical methods. Developing applications and ease-of-use are likely to drive the growth of optical technologies in drug discovery markets.
At the same time, the prevalence and wide acceptance of alternative technologies are deterring manufacturers from investing heavily in the development of innovative optical methods. Furthermore, availability of limited validated data is slowing adoption among physicians for diverse applications. The widespread use of confocal microscopy as a standard practice is limiting the growth of optical methods in in-vitro optical imaging for drug discovery applications.
"Many alternative technologies such as mechanical devices, digital radiography, and fluorescence-based devices have a strong presence in the dental OCT market, making manufacturers reluctant to invest heavily in the development of new optical methods for dental applications," continues Dr. Sharma. "Moreover, most physicians outside academia practice evidence-based medicine. Therefore, limited validated clinical data using optical methods is restricting adoption among tier II end users, including physicians in hospitals and clinics outside the academic arena."
An emphasis on educating physicians, publishing cost-benefit analysis about new technology, and collaborating with academic institutions to generate more validation data for diverse applications is likely to strengthen the presence of optical methods in clinical imaging markets.
Strategic Analysis of Optical Imaging Technologies in U.S. Clinical Diagnostics and Drug Discovery Markets is part of the Drug Discovery & Clinical Diagnostics Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: U.S. Radiopharmaceutical Agents Markets, U.S Flow Cytometry Markets, U.S. Cell-Based Assays Markets, and U.S. Pre- Clinical Small Animal Imaging Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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Strategic Analysis of Optical Imaging Technologies in U.S. Clinical Diagnostics and Drug Discovery Markets / N4DE