The global bionic eyes market is anticipated to witness substantial expansion. Projections suggest a noteworthy surge, escalating from its 2022 valuation of USD 91.98 million to a projected USD 199.97 million by the year 2032. This surge, characterized by a robust Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.89% between 2023 and 2032, is propelled by the increasing blind population and the continuous evolution of technological breakthroughs.

Bionic Eye Market Size 2023 - 2032

Illuminating Growth Factors: Unraveling the Dynamics

1. Rising Incidence of Visual Impairments

At the forefront of propelling the bionic eye market forward is the escalating population facing visual impairments. With an increasing number of individuals grappling with blindness, the demand for innovative solutions becomes imperative. Bionic eyes, equipped with cutting-edge technology, offer a ray of hope by restoring vision and enhancing the quality of life for those with visual challenges.

2. Technological Breakthroughs: Catalyst for Advancement

The landscape of bionic eye market technology is undergoing a paradigm shift, primarily catalyzed by rapid technological advancements. From enhanced prosthetic retina functionality to sophisticated neural interfaces, these breakthroughs contribute to a transformative experience for individuals grappling with visual impairments. The continuous evolution of these technologies underscores a commitment to providing groundbreaking solutions for the visually impaired.

Navigating the Future: Anticipated Bionic Eye Market Dynamics

1. CAGR Unveiled: 2023-2032

The estimated CAGR of 8.89% between 2023 and 2032 signifies a consistent upward trajectory for the bionic eye market. Beyond mere numerical growth, this statistic underscores a commitment to advancing technology to address the needs of the visually impaired, promising a brighter future for individuals seeking visual restoration.

2. Market Valuation: A Decade of Expansion

Commencing from the base figure of USD 91.98 million in 2022, the market is poised to witness a remarkable surge, reaching an estimated USD 199.97 million by 2032. This substantial growth not only reflects market viability but also highlights the pivotal role of bionic eye market in reshaping the landscape of visual impairment solutions.

Pioneering Progress: Bionic Eye Market Shaping the Future

The convergence of advanced technology and the imperative need for visual restoration positions bionic eye market as pioneers in the journey toward overcoming visual impairments. As we witness the market’s growth, it becomes evident that these innovations transcend mere numbers, representing a collective endeavor to enhance the lives of the visually impaired.

The bionic eye market ascent embodies more than statistical growth; it symbolizes a commitment to advancing technology to address the needs of the blind and visually impaired. The future promises not only increased market share but also the profound impact of technology in restoring vision and transforming lives globally.

[Estimated market size and growth projections are calculated for potential bionic eye market with a view on the replacement of prosthetic eyes]

An estimated 1 billion people worldwide having a near or distant vision impairment may have been avoided or has yet to be addressed.

The bionic eye market holds extreme potential and growth opportunities in upcoming years if bionic eye market will be made affordably available to the general public and if production scalability is improved. With the currently available technology, prosthetic eyes can potentially serve some aesthetic solutions to the blind population. But if the prices of production and implantation of bionic eye market go down to some extent, it can definitely replace prosthetic eyes with bionic eyes.

The replacement of bionic eyes market with prosthetic eyes is only possible if prices are reduced, surgical safety and long-term effects are improved, and patient access to such care improves. Our market sizing for bionic eye market is complexly based on these trends considering market potential of prosthetic eyes.

Ophthalmologic conditions are medical conditions that affect the eyes and the structures that surround them. These diseases can impact vision, eye health, and overall health. Refractive errors, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, corneal disease, and dry eyes are some of the major ophthalmologic conditions. According to a study in 2019, around 19.83 million Americans suffered from some age-related macular degeneration. For people aged 50 and older, ADM is one of the leading causes of vision loss in North America.

As stated by the National Library of Medicine, according to detailed estimates, 200 million individuals globally have AMD, which is anticipated to increase to nearly 300 million by 2040. Rising tendencies like this are expected to affect 5.4 million Americans by 2050. In addition, according to the WHO’s August 2023 estimates, cataracts and refractive errors are the leading causes of blindness and vision impairments globally. Only 17% of cataract patients have received sufficient access to proper interventions.

Global Vision Impairment Scenario

In addition, according to the CDC’s November 2020 estimates, glaucoma affects around 3 million individuals in North America. Glaucoma damages optic nerves in the eyes and is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Furthermore, according to the National Library of Medicine, the number of diabetic retinopathy individuals in North America is projected to reach 16.0 million by 2050, with vision-threatening problems impacting approximately 3.4 million of them.

Ophthalmic conditions are the major driving force behind the growth of the bionic eye market. The global prevalence of such ophthalmologic conditions is significantly increasing due to the increasing diabetic population, rising ageing population, and advancements in diagnostics. This ultimately corresponds to an increasing number of patients seeking options for vision restoration.

Traditional treatments such as eyeglasses, medicine, and surgery are either unsuccessful or provide little relief for many of these disorders. Bionic eyes are a potential option for recovering some level of eyesight and improving quality of life. As the prevalence of these disorders rises, and technology progresses, bionic eye market are likely to become more effective and accessible, providing hope and a better quality of life for millions of individuals who are blind.

The Role of Ophthalmic Implants

Ocular implants, small devices placed into the eye and releasing medicine locally over time, are gaining popularity as a modern treatment choice.  As patients look for more convenient, less painful therapies, the market for these implants will expand. Ophthalmic implants are a swiftly expanding area of ophthalmology that provides potential therapies for various eye illnesses and conditions. These implants are intended to repair or enhance the function of injured or diseased ocular structures, thereby restoring or improving vision.

Ophthalmic implants are emerging as a breakthrough technique in ophthalmology, providing a ray of hope to millions of people suffering from vision loss caused by various diseases and traumas. Their influence extends beyond vision repair to research and define the future of vision restoration. Several ophthalmic implants include intraocular lenses, orbital implants, retinal implants, glaucoma implants, corneal implants, and others.

In addition, ophthalmic implants have the ability to enhance patient outcomes by resorting vision impairments. The rising implementation of intraocular lenses in cataracts, restoring vision and presbyopia, improves the quality of life for patients suffering from ocular disorders. Chronic conditions such as glaucoma extensively require ocular implants to limit vision loss and manage intraocular pressure. The rise in product launches and the adoption of advanced technology also foster market growth.

For Instance,

  • In August 2023, Alcon India introduced Clareon Monofocal and Clareon Toric intraocular lenses (IOLs) in conjunction with India’s Clareon Monarch IV delivery system, resulting in the most technologically updated Alcon cataract treatment combination.
  • In March 2021, Johnson & Johnson introduced the Acuvue Oasys Multifocal with Pupil Optimized Design, which combines the pupil-optimizing platform with the company’s Acuvue Oasys material, which is constructed of senofilcon A and is noted for its exceptional performance in terms of convenience and correction of vision.

Furthermore, the rising prevalence of ocular illnesses such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a growing demand for ophthalmic implants. An older population and increased knowledge of these problems contribute to market expansion. The recent shift toward personalized treatment options is helping to develop custom ocular implants matched to particular patient needs and anatomical characteristics.

The Role of Prosthetic Eyes

Individuals who have lost an eye rely heavily on prosthetic eyes for their bodily and mental well-being. They provide functional benefits such as socket lubrication & protection and improved appearance and self-confidence. Prosthetic eyes are anticipated to grow more technologically advanced as technology progresses, providing greater patient benefits. On the other hand, vision cannot be restored with a prosthetic eye.

A person will have no vision in that eye when the natural eye is removed and replaced with a prosthetic eye. The demand for prosthetic eyes is on the rise as eye disorders such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetes-related retinopathy have grown more common. These disorders frequently include the removal or partial removal of the eye, creating the need for artificial alternatives.

However, the cultural stigma associated with vision loss is decreasing, and more individuals are understanding the positive aspects and enhanced level of life that prosthetic eyes can provide. This increased awareness augments the demand for such devices.

In addition, the creation of prosthetic eyes is dramatically evolving with technological improvements. Innovations like 3D printing, advanced design techniques & materials, and personalization in artificial eyes are paving the way for more comfortable and natural-looking ocular prosthetics. Patients considering prosthetic eyes are more concerned about their aesthetic appearance.

They desire solutions as close to their natural eyes as possible, which drives the need for customized and high-quality prostheses. Furthermore, prosthetic eyes are becoming increasingly accessible to a broader spectrum of patients due to stronger healthcare infrastructure in developing nations, along with favourable reimbursement rules in certain areas. This broadens the market and makes these products more accessible to more individuals.

Moreover, prosthetic eyes are in high demand in developing nations.  Growing awareness and greater spending power in these regions create major growth potential for the market. Thus, rising eye disorders, more awareness, technical improvements, and an emphasis on aesthetics are driving the expansion of the prosthetic eye industry. As technology progresses and awareness grows, we can expect this market to expand steadily in the coming years.

The Bionic Eye Market

The bionic eye market is an electrical prosthetic surgically inserted into a human eye to allow light transmission in persons who have suffered serious retinal loss. The bionic eye market comprises an exterior camera, transmitter, and an internal microprocessor. The camera is installed on spectacles, organising environmental visual stimuli before generating high-frequency radio waves. In 2012, the first-ever fundamental bionic eye was inserted into a patient suffering from vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa.

Bionic Vision Australia, an Australian firm, manufactured the first model. Since then, technological advances have been applied in updated versions implanted in individuals whose eyesight has been damaged by retinitis pigmentosa. The most well-known retinal prosthesis is the Argus II, the first approved bionic eye market for its use in the U.S. and Europe.

In addition, the rising focus on R&D in this field is projected to generate promising solutions for patients with vision loss and opportunities for the market players. For instance, In October 2021, IMIE 256 (256 Channel Intelligent Micro Implant Eye) was studied and evaluated for its efficacy and safety by comparing it with an Argus II implant. The results demonstrated an enhanced safety and effectiveness profile compared to the Argus II implant. More clinical trials with a larger number of patients and for longer periods of time are required to corroborate these findings.

Furthermore, the majority of bionic eye market currently under development are for people suffering from retinal degeneration caused by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Estimated Number of People With Age Related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma from 2020 - 2030

According to the WHO’s August 2023 estimates, at least 2.2 billion people worldwide have a near or far vision impairment. Vision impairment might have been avoided or is still being addressed in at least 1 billion of these cases.

The bionic eye market is a ray of hope for people with significant visual loss, allowing them to navigate a previously unclear world. It opens the door to fresh independence, allowing them to move confidently, avoid barriers, and accomplish daily duties easily.  This restored ability to view the world correlates to more excellent social relationships, as they can now read emotions on faces and engage in meaningful visual communication. Perhaps most crucially, the bionic eye market ignites the spark of self-confidence and well-being, allowing individuals to restore a sense of agency and control over their lives.

Moreover, the increasing incidence of eye disorders such as glaucoma and macular degeneration produces a surge in demand for vision restoration, while technical advances ride along with it.  Innovative electrode materials, better stimulation techniques, and even AI integration are boosting bionic eyes’ performance and potential. The societal stigma associated with vision loss is fading, and this life-changing technology is becoming more widely known and accepted. Finally, advances in surgical techniques and expanded insurance coverage make bionic eye market surgeries more accessible, paving the path for a future in which vision loss is no longer a barrier.

Argus II Retinal Prosthesis was the Major Innovation in the Field

  • The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is also known as a “bionic eye” or “artificial retina.” This epi-renal implant was the only bionic eye approved by the US FDA in February 2013. Argus II comprises a tiny video camera, an eyeglass transmitter, an implanted retinal prosthesis (array of electrodes), and a video processing unit (VPU).
  • It was developed by Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., which merged with Nano Precision Medical (Vivani Medical Inc.) in February 2022.
  • At the end of 2011, they began selling the Argus II System in Europe, followed by Saudi Arabia in 2012, the United States and Canada in 2014, Turkey in 2015, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and Iran in 2017, and Singapore in 2018.
  • Because of Argus II’s limited addressable market, the company discontinued marketing it in 2019 and devoted all its resources to developing Orion, a brain device which also provides artificial vision.
  • The Orion technology intends to convert images collected by a little video camera mounted on glasses into short electrical pulses. The gadget will bypass the sick or injured eye and wirelessly transport these electrical pulses to an array of electrodes placed on the surface of the brain’s visual cortex to enable the perception of light patterns.

Bionic Eye Market Future Outlook

Bionic eye market technology is being developed further, including breakthroughs in electrode materials, stimulation techniques, and integration with AI. Bionic eyes have the potential to significantly improve the lives of those who have lost their vision by allowing them to perceive the world in new ways. The bionic eye market is promising, providing a glimpse into a future where vision loss is less of a barrier. However, additional efforts are required to remove obstacles and enable equitable access to this life-changing technology.

The High Cost of Bionic Eye Market Creates Huge Obstacle

The high cost of bionic eye market limits the growth. Creating bionic eyes is so costly as it includes its research and development, implantation, surgical procedure, and post-surgical care costs. The research and development of bionic eyes have taken several years as it is technologically very crucial to develop an artificial eye resembling and functioning like a human eye. The implantation of a bionic eye market is an extremely technical and delicate procedure that requires specific medical equipment and highly skilled surgeons, which accelerates the overall cost of bionic eye implantation. These factors are majorly boosting the cost and restraining the market growth.

In addition, even though the bionic eye is a ray of hope for millions of people across the globe, the technology hasn’t been a complete solution as an eye replacement; current technology can restore the darkness to some extent but achieving complete normal vision for blinds is still a dream.

Furthermore, even if there is a large diseased population, the high costs of bionic eyes limit its access to them, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. The affordability constraints exclude several people who could benefit from the bionic eye. Many people who could benefit from the bionic eye are unable to afford it, particularly those in low- and middle-income nations. This generates a large access gap and poses questions regarding equity and ethics. Moreover, the bionic eye requires sufficient pre-operative and post-operative care, and continuous monitoring further elevates the cost of the bionic eye treatment.

Geographical Landscape

The North America bionic eye market holds a significant market share due to strong healthcare infrastructure and the presence of market players like Second Sight Medical Products, which are actively involved in developing advanced and effective bionic eyes. In addition, the Asia Pacific region offers extensive growth opportunities as an emerging powerhouse with a vast population struggling with visual impairments and a rising prevalence of ocular disease conditions.

Age-Std Prevalence of Vision Loss, 2022

  • In 2020, there were an estimated 270 million blind people in India and China, suggesting a massive potential market for prosthetic eyes and bionic eyes. However, the high prevalence of blindness (9.2 million in India and 8.9 million in China) indicates a larger need for severe vision restoration options.
  • The US market has considerable potential, with 16 million people reporting vision loss, of which 640,000 individuals reported as blind, but cost remains a key barrier.

The bionic eye market is challenging and varied, with tremendous potential and significant difficulties in several countries. We can strive toward a future where bionic eyes illuminate lives and empower those with visual loss worldwide by understanding each area’s specific strengths and challenges, enabling collaboration, and addressing ethical concerns.

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By Sanskruti

Sanskruti Sathe is a passionate healthcare professional author dedicated to improve advancing healthcare knowledge. With over a decade of experience in the field, Sanskruti has worked in various healthcare research institutions. She holds a Master's degree in Public Health and has authored several articles and books on topics ranging from chronic disease management to healthcare policy. As an advocate for evidence-based practice, Sanskruti continues to contribute to the healthcare community through her writing and consulting work.