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Medical Laser Market on the Rise

BioPhotonics
Jul 2007
European market may triple by 2013.

Anne L. Fischer, Senior Editor

Minimally invasive laser surgery is growing in use and is preferred for many procedures because lasers can reach areas where access is difficult with traditional surgical methods. The technique involves practically no incisions, and healing is much faster. Not surprisingly, with the use of laser-based surgery expanding in the practice of urology, aesthetic procedures, ophthalmology, cardiology and other specialties, the market is on an upswing across the globe.

A recently released study by Frost & Sullivan of London indicates that the European market for medical lasers was $329 million in 2006 and predicts that it will nearly triple, to $862 million, by 2013. The growth over the next seven years will be driven by product development as well as by shrinking health care budgets — medical laser procedures often are more cost-effective than traditional treatments and surgeries.

Laser-Feat_Market.jpg

Applications for medical lasers will drive strong growth through 2013, according to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, with the compound annual growth rate expected to be highest for lasers manufactured for cardiovascular procedures. Figures are shown in millions of US dollars.

Frost & Sullivan health care industry manager and analyst Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan said that, in the medical laser market, in contrast to other medical device markets, very little consolidation is occurring globally. This trend, she noted, boosts small, regional participants because they can sell products without much threat from huge corporations. However, this market climate means that prices fluctuate widely, which is confusing to end users and poses an obstacle for companies in building customer loyalty.

Ananthanarayanan indicated that products tend to reach European markets earlier than North American markets because many laser devices are approved more quickly in Europe. She sees the Asia-Pacific area as poised for growth, with heavily populated countries such as India and China holding great potential. As for the aesthetic laser industry, Japan has the highest ratio of market size to population, outstripping Germany, which has the biggest European market.

According to the analyst, although consolidation is viewed as a driving force, it acts as a stumbling block to more focused growth and brand building. Other challenges faced internationally include aesthetic laser treatment delivery by unqualified providers, competition from less invasive therapeutic methods, and regional disparity in the medical regulation process, which limits uniform global growth. The report recommends that vendors strive to increase general awareness of medical lasers and their broad-use applications. It also notes the need for substantial clinical trials, which would require considerable investment in research.

The report, “European Markets for Medical Lasers,” is part of a series on medical devices. For more information, go to www.frost.com.


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