Over the past decade, awareness regarding the influence of low vision on the quality of life and society has increased significantly. In addition, eye-care professionals have gradually become more conscious of their responsibility to ensure patients with vision impairments receive the most effective vision care treatment. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1.3 billion individuals live with some type of vision related problem. In addition, untreated refractive problems and cataracts are tipped to be one of primary factors responsible for vision impairment. Further, nearly 80 percent of the problems related are preventable, provided patients address their vision problems at the right time. The WHO also revealed that a large proportion of individuals that require vision care are above the age of 50.
However, at present, with the advent of advanced technologies, ophthalmologists and eye care professionals have a range of tools effective and reliable tools at their disposal. Thus, the quality of vision care treatment in recent years has improved at a rapid pace and the trend is set to continue in the upcoming years. Thus, with the onset of improved and advanced vision care techniques, awareness over the importance of eye care, and significant improvement in the quality of vision care, the vision care market is projected to experience an impressive growth in recent years.
Market Players Aim to Make Vision Care More Accessible in Developing Countries
Vision impairment is a major cause of concern worldwide especially in the developing countries. Nearly 2 billion people worldwide lack access to optimum vision care including corrective glasses and lenses. Moreover, as a majority of the eye care centers are located in urban areas, getting a prescription for eye glasses is a daunting task for individuals residing in the rural parts of the developing countries such as India. Thus, in their efforts to address the aforementioned challenges, several startups and companies within the vision care market are concentrating on developing portable auto refractors and research activities.
For instance, MIT spin-off, PlenOptika introduced the newly developed portable auto refractor which efficiently computes the refractive errors present in the eye and provides prescriptions in 10 seconds. In addition, the recently developed auto refractor is more economical than the existing technology and has a high potential of making vision care accessible in the inaccessible areas of developing nations. After years of trial & error, testing, and clinical research, the auto refractor, QuickSee entered the Indian market and has provided promising results. Moreover, the company aims to target hospitals, NGOs, and various other optometry practices wherein training will be provided to health workers and technicians. The training program will enable health workers to visit rural areas with the device and carry out the required tests. Thus, the entry of Quicksee and similar other products in the vision care market, eye care in rural areas is poised to scale new heights.
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Vision 2020 – A Global Initiative to Prevent Blindness
In the last couple of decades, the surge in the number of vision impairment cases has prompted response from governments to tackle vision problems. Launched in 1999, the vision 2020 program was primarily aimed to prevent blindness and restrict vision loss among individuals worldwide. Some of the plans and ideas within Vision 2020 include, focus on untreated refractive errors, efforts to improve access to eye care services worldwide, and reduction of the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment among others. Vision 2020 has played a major role in enhancing global eye health and made a significant impact in the developing nations that were in dire need of quality vision care services.
The vision care market is expected to grow at an impressive pace in the upcoming years owing to growing awareness among individuals regarding the importance of refractive error correction, advent of disruptive and cost-effective technologies, and government initiatives that play a crucial role in promoting eye care.