Vision and hearing both have a stake in the coming wave of innovation.
A market study from Boston’s IDTechEx finds the market for neuroprosthetic limbs and neuromodulating devices like cochlear and retinal implants have the momentum to reach $18 billion by 2028. In its research report Neuroprosthetics 2018-2028: Technologies, Forecasts, Players, IDTechEx provides an analysis of product patent timelines as well as other major technological developments from the industry’s top players.
IDTechEx said WHO estimates 360 million people suffer from some sort of hearing loss globally. Vision loss is equally troubling with millions affected each year by retinal degenerative disease, macular degeneration and other such conditions. Advances in technology, effectiveness and affordability will drive demand for devices and further development.
Neuroprosthetics is also a growing field, as IDTechEx notes, with the potential to engineer new ways to restore vision and hearing in patients. According to the research firm, cochlear implants are a mature technology that is helping bolster the current development of retinal implants. Designed to replace patient’s lost rod and cone cells, the implants can transduce the visual information via a signal sent by the device camera, which is then ready to be interpreted by the brain. “These groundbreaking devices confer an artificial sight,” said IDTechEx, “that through rehabilitation, has the potential to partially restore patients' independence after years in darkness.”
Efforts to generate micro, electromechanical systems (MEMS), with long-term biocompatibility, said the research company, “may further translate into neuroprosthetic, bionic limbs that are integrated with a patient's nervous system.” These devices are also likely to enhance the mobility and the quality of life of para and quadriplegic patients.
The report contains company profiles based on one-on-one interviews with emerging and leading retinal and cochlear implant companies. The study also reports details on companies formed since a key program, the National Institutes of Health’s Brain Initiative, was launched in 2013.