Point-of-care diagnostic testing on the rise globally

The global market for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, which encompasses all tests performed outside of hospital labs, was worth $13.8 billion in 2011, according to a new report from BCC Research. BCC projects that the market will grow 3.8 percent annually for the next five years, reaching $16.5 billion in 2016.

The largest segment of the market--glucose testing of diabetic patients--is worth $7.5 billion and is expected to grow only 0.3 percent a year to $7.6 billion in 2016. Blood chemistry and electrolyte testing, the second biggest category, is projected to expand from $2.3 billion in 2011 to nearly $2.9 billion in 2016.

Other leading components of the POC diagnostics field are pregnancy and fertility; cardiac markers; drug and alcohol; infectious disease; cholesterol; hemoglobin/hemostasis; and urine chemistry and tumor marker. The infectious disease and tumor marker diagnostics are the fastest-growing categories, with annual growth rates exceeding 10 percent.

Overall, the U.S. is the largest market for diagnostic tests, and POC diagnostics are one of the field's most active segments. These tests may be performed at a patient's bedside or in physician office labs, outpatient clinics, intensive-care units, or emergency departments. Home use of these diagnostics also is included in the estimates of market growth.

Among the reasons for the growth of this segment, the report said, are "staff shortages, older populations, long-term cost savings, and rural locations without conventional laboratory services." 

To learn more:
- see the BCC press release 

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