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Medical fiber optics is optical fiber used for medical applications. Optical fiber is a transparent and flexible fiber prepared of quality flexible glass, silica and plastic. Optical fibers are generally used as a mean to transfer light between two ends of fiber. It has a wide usage in fiber optics communications, where it permits light transfer over elongated distance and at much higher bandwidths compared to wire cables. Fibers are used for flexible light guide systems, laser light delivery systems, flexible image bundles, and illumination and light conductors.
Fiber optics has found its application in medical industry for years. The physical feature of fiber makes it a usual choice for different applications. Optical fibers are generally used in illumination and are of two basic types – multiple mode fiber and single mode fiber. Single mode fiber has a small core of approximately nine microns in diameter. It limits the transmitted light in the fiber, which minimizes scattering of light pulses. Conversely, multimode fiber has a large core size of about 50 to 62 microns in diameter and it propagates more than one mode of light.
Based on the application of fiber optics in medicals, the medical fiber optics market can be broadly categorized into ophthalmic lasers, X-ray imaging, clinical and lab diagnostics, light therapy, dental hand pieces, diagnostic instrumentation, endoscopy, and surgical microscopy. The physical and optical characteristics of optical fiber make it a usual choice for enormous applications in the medical field. The various types the medical fiber optics are fiber-optic surgical lights, laser fiber-optics, fiber-optic sensors, endoscopes and fiber-optic dental lights.
Expanding application of fiber optics in the medical and healthcare industries has created new opportunities for medical fiber optics market in recent years. Increased applications of fiber optics for modestly persistent surgeries, continuous miniaturization of medical devices and increase in demand of advanced diagnostic technologies mainly in the developing market of Asia-Pacific are some of the factors driving the growth of global medical fiber optics market. The presence of diversified medical applications contributed heavily to the growth of medical fiber optics market in recent years.
Risk associated with the side effect of high intensity of light, and stringent regulatory requirement and standards are some of the major hindrances for the global medical fiber optics market.
North America is the largest market for medical fiber optics, owing to the advanced medical infrastructure, high per capita expenditure on healthcare, and high number of minimally invasive surgeries in the region. Asia-Pacific was the fastest growing market of medical fiber optics in 2014. The advancing healthcare facilities coupled with the consumer awareness towards the advanced surgical technologies in healthcare are some of the most dominant growth factors in this region. Moreover, the increase of medical tourism due to low cost healthcare facilities in countries provides new opportunity for the medical fiber optics market. By country, the U.S. is the largest market of medical fiber optics. India and China are fastest growing market in Asia-Pacific region.
Some of the key competitors of medical fiber optics market are LEONI AG, Timbercon Inc., ROFIN-SINAR Technologies Inc., Timbercon Inc., Coherent Inc., Vitalcor Inc., TRUMPF Group, SCHOTT AG, American Medical System LLC (AMS), IPG Photonics, and Sunoptic Technologies Inc.