Ravi Chawat Digital Marketing Engineer Allied Market Research
Market Research Suggests the Industry Is Poised for Growth
After many years of extensive R&D, the field of diagnostics is reaping the benefits from advanced point of care (POC) testing devices and kits.
The health of a nation’s population is the prime mover of its economy. As the developing world strives toward modernity, the amount of money spent on healthcare facilities worldwide—both by government and private organizations—is escalating to mammoth levels. This can be attributed to the increased prevalence of chronic and infectious disease in the populace (which could correlate to rising poverty rates and life expectancy), as well as the desire to diagnose and cure these diseases at an initial stage.
The POC diagnostics market is reacting to meet these demands, and catering to the requirements of the medical industry for cheaper, faster, and easier-to-use testing solutions. POC testing devices have an encouraging market front: as over-the-counter, home-based testing devices, such as pregnancy and fertility testing kits, glucose monitoring devices, cholesterol test strips, and drug-abuse testing units are gaining popularity with general consumers.
By simplifying the pre-analytical process of diagnosis and prognosis, POC testing devices have proven beneficial in getting faster test results. This speed and simplification leads to timely detection and treatment of medical complications, creating better health outcomes. Moreover, the focus of the industry is shifting toward creating devices that require minimally invasive testing procedures—creating a better user-experience and aiding in data collection.
The POC diagnostics industry is set to scale new heights by meeting the growing demands of healthcare. Expert analysts at Allied Market Research have predicted the industry to garner $43.336 billion by 2022. They forecast a CAGR of 9.4% from 2016 to 2022. The market appears to be lucrative for investors and medical companies in the given forecast period.
Cancer-Risk Testing Devices Potentially Alleviate Complications
By 2030 the number of people afflicted with cancer is expected to reach 15.5 million, according to an alarming statistic from the World Health Organization (WHO). Cancer often arises out of certain genetic mutations passed on from parent to offspring. It might also occur in tandem with genetic mutations that are propelled by environmental factors or personal lifestyles. However, if these genetic mutations are detected at an early stage, the timely prognosis can help to alleviate complications caused by hereditary cancer.
Research and development activities in the POC diagnostics sphere are focused on developing cancer-risk testing devices. One such promising development is the CellMax Genetic Cancer Risk Test, which can examine 98 genes across 24 hereditary cancers (including breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, stomach, and thyroid) with the help of its SMSEQ™ platform. Using only a saliva sample, the DNA test uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) for detection of gene mutations.
“The ability of the CellMax-DNA Genetic Cancer Risk Test to identify mutations associated with 24 hereditary cancers in an affordable saliva test is valuable to both patients and their doctors in planning for appropriate screening frequency and preventative measures,” said Ashish Nimgaonkar, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University.
The cancer risk test can mean significant benefits for cancer treatment, as individuals with higher risk-factors can seek more in-depth and frequent cancer screening. The prognosis for cancer survival will also considerably improve in the initial stages. With the launch of this test, many other POC testing device manufacturers will redirect their attention to this market and others, and develop novel testing kits to ace their game.
Efficient Blood-Glucose Monitoring
Given the rise in the number of diabetic cases globally, advancements in diabetic monitoring systems will provide greater potential for the POC diagnostics market. Recently, a new blood-glucose monitoring system has been made available in Ireland. This system utilizes skin sensors to transmit data wirelessly to a hand-held reader. The sensor, embedded on a circular tab is placed on the upper arm, allows a person to take frequent readings of their blood-sugar levels. The tab can even be worn at night. Glucose-monitoring devices that require multiple pin pricks of patient’s blood per a day may become a thing of the past.
Healthcare Companies Synergize to Strengthen Market Presence
Healthcare industry is a place where collaborating and sharing resources for the greater good ultimately leads to better outcomes for all. It is not uncommon to see synergies between healthcare companies and research technology companies to strengthen their market presence. For instance, Siemens Healthineers recently acquired Conworx Technology, a POC connectivity and big data management firm. This move by Siemens is intended to expand open connectivity across POC diagnostic devices and for streamlining of data integration. This has been fueled by the industry’s demand for a more organized and sophisticated system of informatics in the healthcare sector.
“Together, we will be able to develop leading informatics products that help our customers to manage their growing point-of-care networks now and in the future,” said Roman Rosencranz, the current CEO of Conworx, who will head the new POC division in Siemens.
The world POC diagnostics market is showing a massive demand for devices and testing kits that provide immediate testing and diagnosis of diseases. By side-stepping traditional, brick-and-mortar testing methods, POC diagnostics are easier, faster, and can get results in any location with hand-held equipment. Major companies including Nova Biomedical, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Laboratories, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, and Siemens are investing significantly in POC diagnostic R&D for the North American, European, and Asia-Pacific markets. Overall, the global industry has a lucrative growth opportunity in the next few years.