2018 challenges and opportunities in Ophthalmology

Ryan Tosh, Recruiter for Meditech at FMC Global Talent.
Ryan Tosh, Senior Recruiter for Meditech at FMC Global Talent.

2017 was a huge year for innovation in Ophthalmology (read our blog post about this here) and 2018 is set to follow in its footsteps. Rising prevalence of eye diseases is expected to propel the ophthalmic device market. Many market leaders are investing heavily into development of exciting, revolutionary new technologies which are likely to impact upon both people working in the industry, and vision care patients.

So what’s going on in Ophthalmology and what challenges and opportunities does that present for recruitment in the market?


With considerable development in this area last year, 2018 is set to be a big year for Glaucoma research and development. A multitude of new technologies and surgical options have appeared in recent times, most specifically, the introduction of Micro-invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS).

MIGS is a new, often safer, option for Glaucoma treatment that enables patients to reduce the amount of topical medications they may be on. The development of this new surgical avenue will undoubtedly have an impact upon job roles in the market.

Refractive surgery

An expanded array of treatment choices and technologies are now available to patients who had previously been left untreated. Crosslinking (CXL) and new lens implant options can turn patients that were previously not considered to be candidates for refractive surgeries into ones that are.

In 2017 Johnson and Johnson invested into cataract and laser refractive surgeries, so they may be set to be a market leader in this area in the coming year.

Dry eye management

Many companies in this market, such as TearScience (Johnson & Johnson’s vision department) have made management of dry eye their mission going into the future. They are hoping to apply technology and pharmaceuticals to bring hope and solutions to dry eye patients.

‘Clinicians are very well equipped today to understand and treat dry eye’ (Arun C. Gulani, MD, MS 2017) particularly in light of the developments that may continue to happen this year.


OCT is often hailed as the big thing in ophthalmology. Heidelberg are a key player in this market, with their Spectralis HRA+OCT device.

Developments in OCT will have an impact upon the job roles in the market, such as an increase in demand for clinical application specialists in major OCT manufacturers. In many cases Ophthalmic photographers are upskilling into these roles, making it an interesting time to work in this field.

Ultra-widefield imaging

A huge increase in demand for ultra-widefield imaging devices is expected in 2018, with it being a major technological development. The big names are pushing to create these technologies – Optos are the current market leader, but Carl Zeiss are set to storm their way through the market with their latest development, the Clarus system.

These developments will have an impact upon recruitment in a number of ways, including:

• Consistent developments and improvements to machinery and systems means that companies like Carl Zeiss, Topcon and Optos are always vying to be market leader. Naturally, they want the best talent to help them along the way.
• New jobs may be created in both servicing and sales roles. A increased quantity of equipment means that companies need more engineers to service the machines, and more sales talent to sell them to market.
• A major challenge can come when recruiting sales talent. The key players all want experience, and in what is a reasonably niche market, it can be hard to do this without looking to competitors. As the market continues to grow into 2018 it’s always worth taking a chance on new talent – they might be the next big thing!
• Recruitment plans will need to be made to go alongside these developments, so that companies can make the most of the new opportunities and technologies available in the market.

Wanting to recruit in Ophthalmology this year?

Get in touch with me about your recruitment plans for 2018 on +44 (0) 1522 812 247 or via email at