Rising Diagnostics Standards Drive Growth in Women’s Health Market

Rising Diagnostics Standards Drive Growth in Women’s Health Market

Once limited to obstetrics and gynecology, women’s health now encompasses the fields of urology, maternal-fetal medicine, oncology, and even autoimmune diseases such as cystic fibrosis. In recent years, specialty diagnostics have in part driven exceptional growth in women’s health compared to the overall markets for in vivo (medical imaging) and in vitro (lab testing) diagnostics. Continued penetration and standardization of several diagnostic procedures are expected to lead market growth for women’s health diagnostics through 2018. Kalorama Information projects the market segments of urinary tract infection (UTI) testing, digital mammography, and prenatal screening to be the three fastest-growing women’s health diagnostic markets (>6.0% projected average annual growth).

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) touch upon two major healthcare priorities: healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and sexual health. Women are more susceptible to UTIs than men due to anatomical and urological system features. Infections have become more difficult for clinicians to handle as antimicrobial resistance has mounted among many bacterial pathogens and remaining effective, responsible treatment depends on better characterization of the infectious agent. Today, UTIs are the fourth-most common HAI reported in the United States with approximately two-thirds of acute care institution UTIs believed to be catheter-associated. Vendors of point-of-care (POC), near-patient or decentralized molecular platforms are best able to serve the developing market for molecular UTI assays. Rapid identification of UTI infectious agents can be conveniently accomplished using such platforms at OB/GYN practices and hospital labs.

Digital mammography is the digital x-ray imaging of breast tissue to detect tumors suspect for or associated with in situ and invasive breast cancer. The previously analog procedure has undergone digitalization over the past decade for improved accessibility, lower radiation exposure, and the implementation of computer-aided detection (CAD) through accompanying software. Healthcare system transitioning from analog or screen film mammography to full field digital mammography (FFDM) remains ongoing even in developed markets of North America and Europe. Market growth will thus remain high with the purchasing of new capital equipment and an increasing emphasis on preventative care.

Chromosomal abnormalities and genetic markers are important prenatal indicators of life-threatening and debilitating diseases such as Down syndrome, Turner’s syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, neural tube defects, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, Thalassemia, Canavan disease, Tay-Sachs, sickle cell, chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and Burkitt’s lymphoma. The market for prenatal and carrier screening has developed with the significant influx of next-generation sequencing (NGS) and multiplex PCR assays able to detect variant and mutated genetic sequences. Lower prices for genetic screening, higher child-rearing ages and the development of non-invasive sampling procedures for prenatal screening have also aided market growth.  

The selection of diagnostics markets associated or closely aligned with women’s health are projected to grow by over 4% annually - surpassing the top-line growth rate of the global IVD market and near equaling projected growth for the global medical imaging market. Kalorama Information’s latest title in women’s health - Women’s Health Diagnostic Markets - is available now and features market segment breakdowns by geography as well as analysis of leading drivers and market players.