How Big is the Point-of-Care Diagnostics Market? $18 Billion and Climbing

Point-of-Care Industry Sees Growth, Investment and Competition

Make sure to visit our Point of Care Testing page, Kalorama's all-in-one resource covering the POC testing market. 

Globally, billions of dollars are spent annually on point of care (POC) diagnostic testing, both professional testing and self-testing. In 2016, sales of POC testing reached $18.4 billion, according to Kalorama Information. The POC diagnostic industry is part of a paradigm shift from curative medicine to predictive, personalized and preemptive medicine as emerging technological innovations in smartphones, biosensors, lab-on-a-chip and wearable devices are transforming the POC landscape. The healthcare market research firm’s report, The World Market for Point of Care (POC) Diagnostics, examines the market, outlining major developments and trends in the POC market opportunity.

The driving force behind POC innovations in the health arena is to provide expedited diagnosis where the patient is seen or in the patient’s home. New technologies are allowing POC devices to produce quantitative lab-quality test results that can be transferred automatically to an information system, a remote caregiver service for consultation, or an electronic medical record.

The menu of the topmost-performed POC tests represents a composite of different patient populations and physician practices. General practitioners, family doctors and primary care clinicians most routinely run pregnancy tests, FOBTs, dipstick urinalysis, strep A, flu, and mono tests. Internists and specialists perform significantly more tests per patient with more aged, chronically, and acutely ill patients. Such physicians also drive in-office testing of prothrombin time, panel and individual chemistries, complete blood counts (CBC), and endocrinology.

Molecular POC tests in physician offices are already available for respiratory infections and more. The capacity to provide precise answers for time sensitive tests such as sexually transmissible diseases and other infections will drive the market for POC molecular test devices.
Ease of use is a plus for hospital labs. Worldwide, lab budgets are being cut for test send-outs and there are not enough trained technologists to run molecular tests in their present configuration. The new pharma model tailors therapy to the individual’s particular disease physiology, often determined by the results of a diagnostic test. So, more tests – molecular and immunoassays - will come to market, some will have a high price tag and some not. Price will not be the deciding factor. Test adoption in this scenario is based on performance data, contribution to patient outcome, and cost/benefit analysis.

Precision Medicine Goal Seen in Advanced POC Technology Markets

A major factor in achieving the goal of more precise and personalized therapeutic options is the use of advanced algorithm-driven information technologies that can turn test data into actionable medical decision-making information. Information about diseases, therapies and tests is readily available via the Internet and a growing number of apps on personal digital assistants (PDAs), including all sorts of smartphones. Wearable devices participate in this area by collecting vital sign data that are then analyzed by IT tools to provide healthcare improvement instructions.
Large and small companies are involved in the development and/or marketing of POC testing. The market is considered evolving with growth opportunity. Developing and developed markets alike have room to grow due to an aging population worldwide. Key companies such as Roche, LifeScan, Abbott, and Alere will likely maintain leading positions in the market through continued product innovation and strategic alliances and mergers.