The aging population in combination with the extensive use of electronic devices has led to an increase in eye disorders and diseases such as myopia, cataracts, and glaucoma. To provide more advanced eye surgery solutions, ITRI licensed the OCM (Optical Coherence Microscopy) technology for optical biopsy of eye tissue to high-end ophthalmic surgery devices manufacturer Excelsius Medical, aiming to further the collaboration on the development of the OCM-embedded multi-functional high-precision ophthalmic system.
ITRI and Excelsius Medical signed a technology transfer agreement in late July 2020.
Excelsius Medical has incorporated minimally invasive femtosecond lasers to develop Small Incision Lenticule Extraction technology. In the technology transfer agreement signing ceremony, Dr. Chii-Wann Lin, Vice President and General Director of ITRI’s Biomedical Technology and Device Research Laboratories stated that ITRI’s OCM technology can be integrated into Excelsius Medical’s femtosecond laser system, using non-invasive optical technology with a wavelength of 1300 nm to obtain real-time cross-sectional corneal images. “This novel combination enables the world’s first simultaneous viewing of corneal cross-sectional images during surgery,” he said.
The tech collaboration between ITRI and Excelsius Medical enables the world’s first simultaneous viewing of corneal cross-sectional images during surgery.
Refractive surgery procedures such as LASIK are common in reshaping cornea to improve vision, and refractive surgery equipment involving femtosecond and excimer technologies has a promising market outlook. According to a report by Global Information, the market value of femtosecond laser surgery equipment in 2018 reached 341 million USD, accounting for 54.2% of the overall ophthalmic laser market, and is expected to reach 529 million USD by 2023 with an estimated compound annual growth rate of 9.2%. The collaboration with Excelsius Medical, as Dr. Lin suggests, will assist doctors in making prompt adjustments during surgery and will make Excelsius Medical even more competitive in expanding the market share in cataract surgery, myopia presbyopia surgery and myopia prevention.
Talking about how this tech collaboration can improve surgery, Excelsius Medical President George Huang pointed out that LASIK surgery is performed by using a microkeratome to create a corneal flap and an excimer laser to remove some tissue from the cornea to reshape it; however, this procedure is prone to uneven corneal cutting and may result in refractive complications. Leveraging ITRI’s strengths in hardware-software integration and optical technologies, Excelsius Medical has advanced its refractive excimer laser and ophthalmic femtosecond laser systems to eliminate the need for a microkeratome and allow more precise procedures with shorter operation time, lower surgical risks, fewer side effects and faster recovery time. “This greatly benefits patients with myopia, presbyopia, and cataracts,” he said.
Excelsius Medical is a global major manufacturer of ophthalmic laser surgery instruments and diagnostic equipment. The company is committed to addressing unmet needs in the ophthalmic laser surgery market and providing ophthalmologists worldwide with safe, accurate, and automated technology solutions to treat eye disorders/diseases such as myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia, cataracts and corneal lesions. Located in the Tainan Science Park in Taiwan, Excelsius Medical is active in its marketing in the EU, India, Southeast Asia, South America, and the Middle East. The company has obtained ISO 13485 certification in Germany and Taiwan and is certified with CE marking for its excimer laser myopia surgical instrument. Currently, global multi-center human clinical trials with its femtosecond laser system are ongoing. Its subsidiary in Germany Excelsius Medical GmbH aims to be listed next year.