The aging of the world's population has led to steady annual increases in the number of patients suffering chronic diseases. With demand for long-term care of chronic diseases on the rise, the point-of-care testing (POCT) market has also experienced a boom. "Compared with other types of medical devices, POCT has experienced exceptional market growth recently," said Julie Wun, TrendForce biotechnology analyst. "The global market scale of POCT devices is projected to increase at a CAGR of 9.7% from 2015 to 2020. TrendForce's latest analysis also estimates that the global POCT market reached U$$17.8 billion in 2016. By 2020, the market scale will come to around US$25.6 billion."
POCT devices have become popular segment within the overall market for in vitro diagnostics (IVD) because they offer several important advantages. POCT devices tend to be compact in size and easy to use as to allow testing to be done on or near patients at various locations – often beyond the confines of hospitals and laboratories. Furthermore, their use are not limited to healthcare professionals and can provide immediate results or data. Some of the well-known examples of POCT include glucometers and pregnancy test kits, both of which are now common medical devices for home use.
"The trends of aging population and increasing chronic disease patients continue to generate demand for long-term care services," said Wun. "In this context, the POCT market also becomes the focus of attention in the healthcare sector. Testing devices used in the diagnosis of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases especially are major market growth drivers."
Emerging markets will be new sources of demand for glucometers as developed markets see saturation
Glucometers are the most dominant products in the POCT market as their share within the entire global POCT market is almost at 50%. Emerging markets are expected to trigger another wave of demand for glucometers just as their demand in developed markets has slowed down due to saturation. As emerging markets experience economic experience growth, consumers there have greater awareness of POCT and related topics.
With prices of glucometers dropping due to increasing market competition, medical device manufacturers are also looking at other products within the POCT category. These include devices related to molecular diagnosis, electrolyte analysis, blood gases analysis, coagulation analysis and cardiac markers. Their shares in the global POCT market are small but growing rapidly. Major manufacturers such as Abbot, Roche, Siemens and Johnson & Johnson have also been increasing their efforts in promoting products other than glucometers. With the U.S. and developed markets as target markets, the manufacturers intend to introduce these products to healthcare facilities first and then to home settings. This process is similar to the successful market expansion of glucometers.