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Infectious Disease Testing to Remain Driver for Diagnostic Market

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Jun 2018
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Image: Within the global market for infectious disease products, tests represent more than one-fourth of the entire testing market (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Image: Within the global market for infectious disease products, tests represent more than one-fourth of the entire testing market (Photo courtesy of iStock).
The global market for infectious disease products is expected to record a 60% higher growth than the overall world market for in vitro diagnostics, with tests for infectious diseases representing more than one-fourth of the entire testing market. These are the latest findings of Kalorama Information, (New York, NY, USA), an independent medical market research firm.

Currently, almost one-third of the revenue earned from clinical testing products come from products that detect infectious diseases. Influenza, molecular HPV, emerging infectious disease testing and mycology are the fastest growth segments. Other key segments include TB, HIV, hepatitis, Strep A, malaria, blood screening, STDs, ID/AST, rapids, HAI and other test products.

Governments across the world are according the highest priority to infectious diseases in their healthcare provision. Public health officials have realized that infectious diseases are no longer a problem of just the developing countries, but also affect the social and economic welfare of industrialized countries. The globalized world market exposes far-apart populations to infectious diseases and exacerbates disease outbreaks. The potential for re-introduction of eradicated or controlled infectious diseases is at an all-time high and pathogen drug resistance is a problem being faced across the world that calls for a global response.

Meanwhile, payers in industrialized countries are being encouraged and have become receptive to expanding the coverage of infectious disease testing and screening. Although preventive testing services are traditionally associated with “lifestyle” or non-communicable diseases, infectious disease tests can also be considered under preventive services. Latent or asymptomatic diseases can progress into severe chronic conditions, creating challenges in healthcare funding and contributing significantly to national healthcare spending. As a result, increasingly sensitive and accurate infectious disease diagnostics are vital for implementing therapy at an earlier stage during infection to control rising treatment costs.

Additionally, the increase in funding for infectious disease diagnostics from international governmental, non-governmental and non-profit health organizations is driving the development of sophisticated test platforms that can meet the needs of testing in low-resource environments (electricity, water, refrigeration, other environmental control, and personnel). The emergence of new disease threats or acceptance of new routine screening procedures will further drive the growth of the infectious diseases test market.

The demand for detecting and countering infectious disease threats has aided the launch of new technologies such as molecular systems and POC, PCR-alternative molecular amplification methods, next-generation sequencing (NGS), microarrays and others. Further, advancements in instrument automated analysis and microfluidics have encouraged the proliferation of infectious disease testing across settings and institutions – from traditional sites such as reference labs through physician office laboratories (POLs) and mobile clinics in the developing world.

In the US and other developed countries, managed care demands quicker and more specific test results for infectious diseases. With the use of rapid, near-patient testing, antimicrobial usage can be rationalized and repeated physician office visits can be avoided. However, there is a need for cost improvements to expand the role of test products used in POC and POL settings across the US as decentralized testing is being disproportionately affected by cuts to reimbursements and pricing pressure on laboratory services and diagnostic procedures. The major payors in the US expect reimbursement reductions and restrictions, which will result in a slower growth than the global market, although respiratory, hepatitis and rapid microbiology will be the key growth segments. The market in Canada is mature, driven mainly by sepsis, with the HAI testing and POC segments recording a higher-than-average growth and is expected to register a moderate growth as provincial systems in the country invest in automated microbiology and molecular systems.

The markets in Europe, Germany, Spain and Italy and other EU countries are mature and are witnessing a high demand for innovative products, molecular HPV, rapid microbiology and chromogenic media. The overall European market is expected to improve only slightly during the forecast period as austerity is rolled back in the region. Turkey is expected to record a 50% higher revenue growth than European countries in most segments, with automated ID/AST and NAT screening systems, HIV and respiratory being among the high growth areas.

Brazil and Mexico are witnessing a strong growth in blood screening where immunoassays are still present and will record a comparatively higher growth than other nations, while the current demand for NAT systems in these countries will continue during the forecast period. In Latin America, Chile and Columbia are the large growth markets and are witnessing demand across categories.

The market in India is large, established, and reliable and has a fast-growing population. The continued growth of the Indian middle class population is expected to drive healthcare utilization, including infectious disease testing, in the country with hepatitis, TB, and malaria likely to attract the most investments. In Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the rising middle class population and demand for healthcare services, including testing, is attracting a number of IVD companies to enter the Asian region.

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