The acquisition of Carl Zeiss Surgical has placed Carl Zeiss Meditec in an optimum position for future developments in the health sector. We are focusing on three trends that have an exceptionally broad social and economic impact:
These appear particularly with advancing age and are the result of a steadily increasing life expectancy. Overall, the number of old people is increasing significantly worldwide. Alone in Germany 11% of the population is today older than 70: in 2025 this figure will be 17%. In USA this share is expected to grow from 9 to 13%, in Japan from 12 to 22%. Growing numbers of people are thus reaching an age at which eye diseases, for example, become inevitable. One of the most frequently performed operations on human beings is for cataracts. The latter occurs in 10% of the 55-year-olds, whilst almost 30% of the 70-year-olds are afflicted. As the number of patients suffering from age-related disorders rises, so too will the demands placed on medical technology to counteract them.
- Loss of mobility,
- Loss of vision and
- Loss of cognitive abilities.
The limits of scientific possibility in medical technology are continually being pushed back. However, as soon as a new battle has been won, the expectations of the doctors and patients rise correspondingly. The side-effects of surgery should be reduced to a minimum and convalescence times kept as short as possible. Such demands are met very well by minimally invasive surgery. It fulfils a number of criteria simultaneously. Above all, patients benefit from shorter treatment times and less invasive operations. Surgeries become less painful and risky, the periods spent in hospital and in convalescence are reduced. This yields clear benefits in terms of quality of life. But it also relieves the strain on the health systems, in both the private and public sectors. The less invasive the operation and the shorter the recovery phase, the lower are the costs of the treatments. A further economic factor is also involved here: the sooner a patient can return in good health to his workplace, the lower the total costs incurred to the social security system.
The fact that diseases, which were previously inoperable, or only at great risk, can now be carried out more effectively and with greater precision is also thanks to progress in medical technology. This applies to brain tumours, for instance, which, thanks to Carl Zeiss Surgical’s modern visualisation techniques, can now be removed with precision and without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. The markets in which Carl Zeiss Meditec operates reflect this trend. Some of them are expanding by between 4 and 10% p.a.; in certain segments the growth rate is even higher. The stage is thus set for positive economic growth in the future.
Good perspective for further growth
In the field of ophthalmology we supply solutions for comprehensive disease management. Customers and physicians benefit equally from more efficient and even better treatment.
- With neuro/ENT surgery we are opening up a further growth sector. Building on our leading position in surgical microscopes and visualisation solutions, we now propose to advance to the position of a solutions provider for neuro/ENT surgery.
- The bundling of our research and development activities will accelerate the introduction of product innovations. In this way we will be extending our innovation and technology leadership.
- A coordinated market presence and enhanced market perception will assist in unleashing additional sales potential.