Published onThe Hong Kong Healthcare Drinks networking event (www.healthcaredrinks.com) hosted a presentation on the Global In-Vitro Diagnostic Market, given by Jag Grewal, Sales & Marketing Director from Omega Diagnostics. The event took place at the newly established & very swanky entrepreneurs club called Metta (www.metta.co). Whilst the global IVD market is large (estimated at USD60bn) with an attractive growth rate of 7%, interesting only 2% of total global healthcare expenditure is spent on diagnostic tests even though 80% of all treatments rely on some form of diagnostic test! The IVD market is evolving rapidly and some of the following global trends were highlighted in the presentation:
- Point of care (POC) diagnostics: more diagnostic tests are performed in the GP’s clinic versus the big hospitals. This provides more convenience to the patient both in terms of being closer to their home plus shorter waiting time for test results. However, there could be trade-offs with these POC tests which may not be as sensitive as those performed in the pathology labs of hospitals
- Consumerism & personalized medicine: diagnostic tests are becoming so easy to perform that they are now being offered outside of traditional medical facilities such as in pharmacies, consumers’ homes & even via the internet. Consumers can now affordably get their DNA sequenced and receive a report outlining drugs that they may not be compatible with or their chances of developing specific cancers in the future. Whilst great advances are being made with personalized medicine a note of caution was also given, since receiving these results may cause more anxiety if not accompanied with professional counseling and advice.
- Global health issues: SARS, Zika & Dengue are spreading quickly and are no longer considered threats just to emerging markets. The ability to mobilize research efforts to develop diagnostic tests quickly is becoming more important. It generally takes about 18 months to develop a new diagnostic test but this can be longer especially if regulatory processes are cumbersome.
- Disruptive innovation & smart phone Apps: diseases such as HIV can now be treated in remote locations with innovative & cost effective (USD5/test), POC CD4 diagnostic tests that require only basic training, one drop of blood & a 40 minute wait before the immune status of the patient is known. A smartphone app allows for immediate reading, interpretation and transmission of results to a central database usually in the nearest large government hospital. See CD4counts.com for more details.
- Incorporating innovation into clinical practice: a recent review on Antimicrobial Resistance’s acknowledged that diagnostic tests are key to preventing the unnecessary use of antibiotics. The report showed a correlation between those European countries that had adopted certain POC tests into routine clinical practice and the decrease in antibiotic prescription. See http://www.patients-association.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/straight-to-the-point.pdf
- Wearables & implantables: wearable diagnostic tests are already being used for continuous glucose monitoring in diabetic patients and adjusting insulin levels accordingly. In the future implantable diagnostic tests may bring a whole new world of information to our fingertips & our smart phones!