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Enabling point-of-care diagnostics

Article-Enabling point-of-care diagnostics

Image via Canva Pro rapid diagnostic test.png
An in-depth look at its role in virtual care for infectious and non-infectious disease treatments.

It would be difficult to miss the trend toward remote healthcare, which ranges from telephone GP appointments to remote patient monitoring technologies. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a trend over the past two years that might have otherwise emerged much more gradually. This change also impacts diagnostics, especially for patients with chronic conditions who require ongoing testing. For instance, repeated complete blood count (CBC) tests may be required for cancer patients to monitor the progression of their disease and the effectiveness of their treatment. 

Hospital systems have been so overworked during the pandemic that they were on the verge of collapsing, and Covid-19 has brought attention to the need for decentralised healthcare services. Delivering diagnostic results to doctors so they can quickly make informed clinical decisions represents one significant obstacle. Rapid point-of-care diagnostics are altering how blood tests are managed and performed. 

According to the Market Research form Strategic Market Research, the Global Point of Care Diagnostics Market was worth US$33.12 billion in 2021, and it will be worth US$90.25 billion by 2030. It should be noted that during the period (2019 to 2021), the demand for PoC diagnostics solutions grew by over 15 per cent. The market can be understood in two categories which are infectious disease PoC diagnostics and non-infectious disease PoC diagnostics. While the market for infectious disease testing is relatively bigger, holding over 60 per cent of the demand, non-infectious diseases such as HIV, cardiovascular problems and others are also gradually adopting PoC testing.   

In terms of demand, the US is the largest global market, accounting for 32 per cent of the revenue share. Emerging economies of the world are also adopting technology at a fast pace. The Middle East region is one such market where rapid growth is expected in the next ten years. The healthcare sector in the Middle East region is progressing very fast and a lot of investments are coming in from the global market players.  
PoC testing kit providers are Abbott laboratories and others are already active in countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE through online and offline channels. By 2030, the PoC diagnostics market in the Middle East region is expected to exceed US$1 billion.    

Application of POC instruments  

Disease-related: Point-of-care testing gives patients and healthcare professionals quicker, more affordable access to precise, actionable results at the earliest possible time when treatment can be most efficient. Fast, greater POC liquid handling instruments may encourage faster and more precise diagnosis and treatment when possibly life clinical decisions depend on laboratory testing.  

Rapid diagnosis is essential for the best chance of success in situations like emergency care, public health outbreaks, fast screening of infectious diseases, cardiovascular events, and adverse drug reactions. Other testing requirements, like blood monitoring, fertility testing, ongoing disease management, or routine wellness panels, do not require speed but need repeatable, accurate, and reliable data. Flexible POC liquid handling technologies that can accommodate a variety of test modalities can greatly enhance patient care.   

Technology-related: The diagnosis of both biochemical and molecular diseases is undergoing a remarkable transformation thanks to developments in device miniaturisation, higher sensitivity optics and chemistries, sample multiplexing, disposable technology, greater information processing, sensors, component reliability, and cloud-based data storage and analysis. Designs for point-of-care liquid handling instruments that take advantage of these developments will be best positioned to dominate the POC market. 

The POC testing market is expanding due to higher R&D funding for advanced technology that will shorten the time required for clinical diagnostic testing. Remarkably, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased regulatory agencies' willingness to expedite the approval of diagnostic products. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) introduced the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative in April 2020. 

The initiative aims to expedite the creation, approval, and commercialization of novel point-of-care and home-based tests and advancements in clinical laboratory tests that can accurately identify SARS-CoV-2. 

With the development of novel applications in fields like non-invasive prenatal and oncology, the market for point-of-care diagnostic testing through next sequencing (NGS) and other genetic technologies is predicted to expand steadily.

Innovations in POC diagnostics boosting the market growth 

The point-of-care diagnostics market is expanding as big, and small businesses are creating new technologies to help medical professionals diagnose patients quickly from anywhere. Receiving test results sooner can help save time, money, and lives in serious situations because diagnostics are a crucial part of the clinical decision-making process. 

POC diagnostics are also lowering the costs associated with the time-consuming and expensive practice of sending samples to a laboratory. And, as the need to contain healthcare costs has grown, they have proven to be an effective way to meet financial targets without jeopardizing clinical outcomes. 

Factors contributing to the rapid growth of POC diagnostics 

  • Point-of-care diagnostics have rapidly increased in popularity due to a number of factors. The most significant are as follows: 
  • Technological advancements: Diagnostics have become more accurate with the advancement in technology. This enables providers and patients to obtain results faster than traditional diagnostics.   
  • Indications for use are being expanded: The appeal of the technology is expanded to a larger pool of potential customers when a growing number of patients can benefit from it. 
  • The increasing rate of chronic and infectious diseases: The demand for point-of-care diagnostics is rising quickly as chronic disease rates are rising and account for a significant portion of US healthcare spending 
  • Patient convenience: Patient-friendly point-of-care diagnostic devices, such as glucose monitoring devices, enable patients to manage their chronic conditions better. 


This article appears in the latest issue of Omnia Health Magazine. Read the full issue online today.

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References available on request 
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