Michael D. Wheeler, News Editor
Although photonics offers some positive and clear benefits to the medical practice, their expense and traditional consignment to niche applications leaves them open to competition from less costly technologies. Ophthalmology, diabetes management, dentistry, dermatology and cancer treatment (photodynamic therapy) are areas where photonic technologies (especially lasers and sensors) can thrive but are struggling or face significant competition.
The market potential in these areas is significant, which makes it worthwhile for photonics companies to pursue particular niches. However, medical practitioners have tough demands that must be met before they will buy. Price is a large stumbling block, but a good outcome can eliminate some of that concern.