Beacons in Southeast Asia: IVD Market Opportunities in Singapore and Malaysia

Beacons in Southeast Asia: IVD Market Opportunities in Singapore and Malaysia

Behind China, the countries of Southeast Asia represent IVD market similarly bolstered through economic growth and strong state-driven efforts to improve national healthcare systems. Immediate inroads into the Southeast Asian IVD market can be forged through Singapore and Malaysia, two countries already favored through their position at the nexus of Asian trade. Representing a combined IVD market of over $200 million, Singapore and Malaysia are modest only in comparison to Asia’s leading markets in China, Australia, and Japan.

Through Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, IVD companies have access to approximately 35 million potential patients, over 700,000 annual medical tourists, and healthcare systems with higher per capita spending than anywhere else in Southeast Asia or anywhere in Asia outside of Japan, Australia, or Korea. Leading global IVD companies have already established themselves in the Singaporean market to exploit the city-state’s strengths as a modern port with excellent human and research resources. Approximately 55% of the combined Singaporean-Malaysian IVD market is represented by Roche Diagnostics, Abbott Diagnostics and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.

Malaysia is a less developed healthcare market, with many clinical testing services unavailable outside of cities. Unsubstantiated disease and unconfirmed mortality diagnoses remain common in Malaysia, despite universal care, significant mixed investment in the local healthcare system, and health expenditures favorable to other middle-income nations. Malaysian government remains active in improving and expanding public healthcare services, but has encouraged private investment to supplement public care and improve access. Growth in private clinical and hospital care in Malaysia has largely benefited private pathology service providers (or community labs), as in-house testing remains rare in Malaysian private health care.

Kalorama Information anticipates that molecular microbiology, other non-infectious disease-related molecular assays, and blood glucose self-testing will represent the fastest growing IVD segments in Singapore and Malaysia. Both countries have high proportional populations of diabetics. Molecular microbiology will see rising use in the region as public health officials and care providers adopt rapid testing to combat significant infectious disease burdens and risks. Other molecular assays related to non-communicable disease management and diagnosis will see increased demand as Singapore represents a leading destination for advanced care by medical tourists.