Medical lasers are a multibillion-dollar global industry. Lasers are used in a wide range of medical applications, from cosmetic procedures to diagnosis and therapy.
The global recession of 2008 and 2009 had a significant negative impact on the market for medical lasers. Much of the demand for medical lasers comes from elective procedures such as laser-assisted eye surgery, which many consumers postponed as they tightened their belts in response to the recession.
Somewhat paradoxically, the market for lasers used in certain minimally invasive cosmetic surgical procedures (e.g., hair restoration, photo-rejuvenation with intense pulsed light, and laser body contouring) held up relatively well in the recession. Meanwhile, the market for lasers used in surgical applications that cannot wait until the economy turns around remained comparatively strong.
The longer-term outlook for the medical laser market is much better. Indeed, demand may experience a “bump” as the economy improves and consumers who have postponed elective laser procedures during the recession decide to have them.
Another force for possible change in the medical laser market is the new U.S. health care law that was enacted in 2010. The law imposed a 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic surgical procedures. When it does go into effect, this tax could reduce the demand for such procedures and by extension the market for medical lasers used in cosmetic procedures.
Meanwhile, medical laser technology is continuing to evolve. New laser sources with potential medical applications include fiber lasers, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and organic LEDs (OLEDs). Plastic foils as surface emitters could become important as an irradiation source in photo-dynamic therapy (PDT). In addition to new laser sources, the development of new applicators and tool holders will continue to widen the range of applications for existing types of lasers. Finally, the spread of new laser applications such as nanosurgery, OCT, and sophisticated fluorescence microscopy will stimulate the growth of the medical laser market.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The market for medical lasers, in other words, is in a period of considerable flux. This report is an update of an earlier BCC report published in 2009. The overall goal of this study is to provide the reader with an up-to-date understanding of the technological, economic, and regulatory forces that are influencing the future size and structure of the market for medical lasers. Specific objectives include the following:
- Identifying the medical laser technologies and applications with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term (2010–2016)
- Analyzing the key drivers and constraints that will shape the market for medical lasers over the next 5 years
- Estimating the current and future demand for medical lasers through 2016. Ascertaining which companies are best positioned to meet this demand, because of proprietary technologies, strategic alliances, or other advantages.
The report is intended especially for vendors of medical lasers, as well as government agencies, healthcare policy analysts, and others seeking to understand the medical applications of laser technologies. Although the report focuses on specific technologies, it is largely nontechnical in nature. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works, how much of the latter the market is likely to purchase, and at what price.
As such, the report’s main audience is executive management, marketing, and financial analysts. It is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, although its findings concerned the market for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications should interest them as well.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The report addresses the global market for lasers used in diagnostic, therapeutic, and cosmetic applications during the period from 2010 through 2016. It addresses the market in its entirety as well as in selected regional and country markets.
The report does not cover the market for lasers used in the fabrication of medical devices (e.g., in the creation of microscopic features and spot welds). The focus is on the market for lasers themselves, rather than the larger pieces of equipment that incorporate them.
The format of the study includes the following elements:
- Types of medical lasers and their main applications
- End-user segments
- Market environment (legal and regulatory, standards, trends in the healthcare industry, demographic and economic trends, other market drivers and barriers to deployment)
- Detailed market estimates and projections, by type of laser/end-user segment/geographical area for the period 2010–2016
- Supplier profiles
- Patent analysis.
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in this research report. The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from developers, vendors, integrators, and users of medical lasers. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report.
The base year for analysis and projection is 2010. With 2010 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2011–2016. The projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with BCC’s understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.
The specific assumptions and approach BCC used to develop the projections (both near/mid-term and long term) for each application are documented in detail under the various segments addressed. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions regarding such matters as date of regulatory approval.
All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2010 constant dollars.
The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm of 43rd Parallel, LLC. In addition to the previous edition of this report on medical lasers, he is the author of several other BCC Research studies of the healthcare and related industries, including HLC016D Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies & Opportunities; HLC036D Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery: The Global Market; HLC042A Radiation-Based Therapy and Therapeutic Imaging; HLC051F The Market for Minimally Invasive Medical Devices; HLC038C Patient Monitoring; HLC054B Home Medical Equipment: Technologies and Global Markets; HLC048C Healthcare Information Technology; HLC066B Medical Automation Technologies, Products and Markets; and HLC070A Preventive Healthcare Technologies, Products and Markets.
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This publication provides informative material of a professional nature. It does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice, nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide or an endorsement of any given product or company. This information is intended to be as accurate as possible at the time it was written and was undertaken on a best-effort basis. The views expressed are those of the author and do not make any warranty, express or implied, for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information, or for the interpretation of data or its use by others. Projections involve risks and uncertainties that include but are not limited to technical risks associated with technology development, government regulatory approvals, and access to capital. The author assumes no responsibility for any losses or damages that may result from one’s reliance on this material.