Spending on point-of-care testing has nearly doubled between 2003 and 2009, as providers find ways to save money on healthcare delivery, reports Healthcare Finance News.
According to a report by Kalorama Information, the market value of point-of-care testing was $13.3 billion in 2009, both for professional and over-the-counter applications. Kalorama predicts the market will grow at a robust 6 percent per year until 2014.
"Managed care's obsession with cost reductions is pushing the need for decentralized testing in the home, at the bedside and in the physician's office," said Shara Rosen, Kalorama's lead diagnostics analyst and author of the report.
Along with the need to cut costs, providers are also confronted with the growth of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis that are public health issues, as well as the spread of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and cancer.
One of the biggest growth drivers is the use of glucose testing devices for diabetics. Among healthcare professionals, the biggest growth has been in the use of cardiac markers and critical care tests.
Although the market for such testing is enormous, consolidation has affected the industry. Kalorama estimated that just 27 companies controlled 94 percent of the market in 2009.