Ever wait anxiously for days to get the results of medical tests?  Such periods may eventually become passe as new methods for analyzing blood and other tests increasingly allow quick turnaround times in doctors offices, “rapid clinics,” and even in patients’ homes.

According to a new review of the global “point of care” testing industry released today by Scientia Advisors, a Cambridge, San Francisco strategy consulting firm (yes, my client!)–the market for point-of -care medical tests (those analyzed in close proximity to patients)–is growing at 8 per cent–and even faster for certain types of tests and in the developing world.

Harry Glorikian, Scientia’s managing partner, points out that this growth is fueled in part by a trend toward decentralization of health care—in which testing and treatment are migrating from hospital labs to settings such as emergency rooms, outpatient, doctor’s offices, rapid and urgent care clinics, and homes.

But, he points out,  “companies bringing point-of-care (POC) tests to market must consider not only accuracy, reliability and ease of use, but also the challenges of gaining clinical acceptance and meeting sometimes-onerous regulatory and reimbursement requirements.”

Based on primary and secondary research and proprietary analysis, Scientia projects that the POC testing market, which includes professional and over-the-counter segments, will experience compound annual growth of 8%, from $11.6B in 2008 to $18.4B through 2013 —with additional potential for growth in emerging economies.

While diabetes is the largest segment of the POC testing market, infectious disease testing, a smaller segment, has high growth potential due to (1) increasing awareness of public health problems such as flu, chlamydia and hospital-acquired infections (2) potential availability of disruptive, point-of-care molecular diagnostics and (3) increased adoption of POC testing in emerging markets.

Scientia also found that:

  • While the US is a major influencer in the global POC testing market, the developing world will experience the fastest growth—especially in China and India, where the governments plan to open thousands of rural clinics.
  • In the current economic slowdown, US retail giants such as CVS and Wal-Mart have closed many rapid clinics. As a result, rapid clinics may need new strategies, such as partnering with hospitals, to remain viable.
  • Next-generation, portable, easy-to-use technologies, which promise greater accuracy, convenience and clinical impact, will fuel the growth of many POC segments.
  • Stringent regulatory and reimbursement requirements and a need for pharmaco-economic studies remain barriers to widespread POC adoption in the US and abroad.

Scientia’s review, “The Point-of-Care Diagnostics Market: Growth Drivers and Challenges to Widespread Adoption”, is available for download at no cost at www.scientiaadv.com.

—Anita M. Harris

Harriscom blog is a publication of the  Harris Communications Group is a marketing communications and public relations firm located in Boston, MA.


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My client, Scientia Advisors,  has found that the market for certain advanced medical testing methods is poised for accelerated growth.

Scientia, a management consulting firm, recommends that many diagnostics companies reexamine their portfolios and  business models to position themselves for growth.
Immunoassays are laboratory tests used to identify and quantify blood components associated with particular diseases. Immunoassays are a key growth area within in vitro diagnostics (tests conducted in laboratories, as opposed to those carried out in living organisms).

Based on  a review released on June 28, 2010, Scientia Advisors Founding Partner Arshad Ahmed said: “Most current immunoassay technologies focus on detecting one or several proteins in a patient’s blood/serum or other samples.

 “However, novel markers and new technologies that can detect and measure multiple markers simultaneously will become increasingly available in the next several years.”

 Such advanced technologies—already used in diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, cancer, and kidney injury—are faster, more accurate and more cost-effective than many “traditional” tests. As a result, they may command higher prices and are driving growth in the overall immunoassay market.

What is more, for diagnostics players, marketing and business models are changing, according to Ahmed. Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to incorporate diagnostic tests into their sales processes. And certain diagnostics companies are adopting a “sole service provider” model—in which tests are marketed directly to physicians and performed in company-run laboratories.

 In light of these changes, “it is crucial that companies in the diagnostics space re-examine their business strategies in order to compete successfully in the coming years,” Ahmed said.

Review highlights:

  • The $7.7B immunoassay market, which comprises one fifth of the $37B in vitro diagnostics (IVD) market, grew approximately 6% a year between 2005 and 2007. The immunoassay market has since shown 9% compound annual growth — a rate that is expected to continue through 2012, largely due to technology advancements.
  • Growth in the immunoassay market will be driven by the emergence of (1) ultra-sensitive platforms, which enable detection of analytes at minute concentrations; (2) multiplex technologies, which allow simultaneous analysis of multiple compounds and (3) novel biomarkers that increase the accuracy and efficiency of diagnosis or treatment.
  • Emerging economies, such as China’s, are experiencing robust immunoassay market growth.
  • Personalized medicine and new business models such as the bundling of immunoassays with marketed drugs and the sole service provider areare changing industry paradigms.

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Scientia’s study, Strategic Review of Immunoassays: Seeing Beyond the Market Inflection Point”. is available for download at no cost at www.scientiaadv.com.

—Anita M. Harris

Harriscom Blog is a publication of the Harris Communications Group of Cambridge, MA.

Scientia Advisors, based in Boston and San Francisco,  is a management consulting firm specializing in growth strategies for major and emerging companies in health care, life sciences, biotechnology, and nutrition.
 

 

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