Point of Care Growth - Beware of Over-Optimistic Growth Estimates

Point of Care Growth - Beware of Over-Optimistic Growth Estimates

Revenue Growth 4.9%for Overall Point-of-Care Diagnostics

There's some fairly large numbers and aggressive growth rates for point-of-care testing on the web these days.  Our most recent report found that the world market for point to care diagnostics is experiencing good, but not exaggerated growth, according to a recent report.  The concept of point of care is succeeding but aggressive growth still meets challenges in what is a multi billion dollar market with myriad competitors.  Globally, millions of dollars are spent annually on POC diagnostic testing, both professional testing and self-testing.  A major contributing factor to slower growth was pricing strategies that continued to discount the cost of POC diagnostic testing in some segments and higher cost in other segments of testing.    This was the finding of Kalorama Information’s latest report The Worldwide Market for Point-of-Care (POC) Testing 

 In 2017, sales of POC testing reached $19.6 billion, and is expected to grow 4.9% for the next five years.  While lower than some estimates, that’s growth that is 40% higher than the IVD market.

 “Good but realistically a challenging market that needs to fight for proof of utility and share.  One-time glucose testing buys, European market retrenchment, low-cost competitors driving prices.  There are other double digit estimates that have been published, but Kalorama said that its research didn’t support the level of growth except in a few markets.  

-Bruce Carlson, Publisher Kalorama Information

Among the factors driving this assessment are those below:

  • Glucose markets are still an issue as they contribute to revenue growth worldwide in the past but lately have not performed, says Kalorama.  They have not been reimbursed at the level that they once were.  Competition from low-priced competitors is also a factor.  European markets suffered from less funding and shifting to lower-price competitors.
  • European markets generally point of care markets are showing lower growth as centralization is forced except where necessary.
  • Chinese glucose markets are still growing slower than expected, diabetes management is heavily regulated and price controlled.
  • There were positives - FOB colon cancer screening grew, substance abuse testing were among growth areas, according to the report. 
  • Currency effects may enlarge some growth estimates on the Internet. 

Substance Abuse a Growth Area of POC Testing

During the past several decades, drug abuse and dependence have become critical public health problems as evidenced by newspaper and Internet stories. Although drug abuse has existed throughout history, generally it involved a relatively small minority of the population. Today, drug abuse is a pervasive problem that affects individuals of all ages from all socioeconomic backgrounds. It is not a random problem but rather a national and international pandemic. The National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 10% of the adult population in the United States has abused drugs during their lifetime. It is suspected that approximately 10% of nurses are dependent on drugs and alcohol, and the American Nurses Association (ANA) estimates that 6%-8% of nurses use drugs and alcohol to the extent that it impairs their professional ability and judgment.  Of particular concern, has been the growing trend toward the abuse of chemical substances, particularly drugs, alcohol and tobacco by preteens, as well as the apparent acceptance of drug abuse by many as the norm rather than the exception. Every year, billions of dollars are spent by all levels of government in attempting to eradicate illicit drug use and drug trafficking, with only limited positive results.

Glucose Testing Market Challening Area of POC Testing

It is estimated that more than 10 million glucose monitor devices, and several hundred million test strips are sold annually, worldwide. The world market for POC blood glucose monitoring (BGM) is estimated at $10,032 million in 2017. The economics of monitoring diabetics in the ongoing diabetes “epidemic” has had a profound effect on healthcare dollars and in a knee jerk reaction payers and healthcare system in developed countries have sought strategies to cut costs. Thus, the market for POC glucose testing in the U.S. and Europe has found itself in a shakeup with approximately a 15-20% decrease in the market from 2011 to 2017. Market leader Roche Diagnostics has reported a decrease in its diabetes product revenues of 3%-4% for the past few years. The reader is reminded that in spite of growth in emerging markets, the U.S. occupies at least 51% of the glucose test market and Europe another 24%. What happens there in terms of pricing and reimbursement has an effect on the market as a whole.


In Europe, EDMA (European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association, www.edma-ivd.be) reported that several of the major markets have cut back on test reimbursement in 2012. Patients with type 2 diabetes are excluded from reimbursement by their statutory health insurance plan. In addition, physicians are required to recommend low-priced test strips.


France experienced a 5.5% decrease in the glucose self-testing has been linked to the limitation in reimbursement of glucose test strips for type 2 diabetes that was implemented in 2011.
Intense budgetary restrictions in Spain have put pressure on diabetic patients whereby a tight control on the number of tests reimbursed has been enforced. All diabetes testing was previously funded by the public healthcare system.


In the RoW markets, Latin America and Mexico are leaders in the POC blood glucose market along with China and India.

Kalorama Information’s report is authored by an IVD expert analyst who has covered the market for over seven years.  The report breaks out growth rates for every category of near-patient testing from substance abuse to glucose to cardiac markers.