Fiber optics is a fairly old technology and has been in use in various applications including medical field. Fiber optics technology uses fibers to transmit radiation from one place to another. Optical fibers, which are thin strands made from materials such as glass or plastic are used for the transmission of radiation for observation as well as illumination of objects. Physical parameters such as pressure, temperature, blood flow, and chemical parameters such as bile, pH, and oxygen of various materials can be tested using biomedical sensors with optical fibers. Medical endoscopic applications are served by employing optical fibers in the endoscopy systems.
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Key players operating in the medical fiber optics market include Corning, Inc., Optical Cable Corporation, AFL, Coherent, Inc., Sterlite Technologies Limited, Schott AG, Leoni AG, Rofin, IPG Photonics, Timbercon Inc., and OFS Fitel, LLC.
Prevalence of various chronic diseases is on the rise along with the need of surgical intervention in the medical management of the disease. Advanced medical fiber optic applications could be useful in the surgical treatments such as lasers. Preference towards minimally invasive surgeries is on the rise due to advantages offered by the same over conventional open surgical approach. Minimally invasive surgeries offer significant reduction in postoperative pain, decreased recovery time, and reduced hospital stays. Applications such as minimally invasive robotic surgery, optical fiber lasers, and detection of diseases through sensors could be potential sources of revenue stream in medical fiber optics market.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017, cancer was the second most common cause of death in the U.S., which accounts for nearly 1 out of every 4 deaths. Biomedical sensors is another such area, which has high applications in drug discovery, disease diagnosis, and pathology. Glucometers is a prime example of biosensor technology, which is utilized for the management of glucose content in the blood.
North America has the presence of leading manufacturers in the fiber optic industry. Manufacturers such as Schott AG (Europe) and Corning, Inc. (U.S.) offer products in these regions. Leoni AG launched an optical fiber in 2017 that is capable of indicating changes in temperature, pressure, and other parameters and could be applied in medical applications.
Moreover, the Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA), the first trade association dedicated to fiber-optic sensing is also present in the U.S. since April 2017. Asia Pacific region is expected to show significant growth, owing to high patient base requiring medical imaging procedures for various conditions such as cancer.
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