The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global hepatitis B and C diagnostics market for 2016-2020. The report also lists immunodiagnostics and nucleic acid test (NAT) instruments as the two main segments based on type of procedure. The report also presents the vendor landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of top vendors in the market. It also outlines the challenges faced by the vendors and the market at large, as well as the key trends that are emerging in the market.
“The evolving strategies of healthcare organizations toward the reduction of costs in the diagnostic process of hepatitis B virus and HCV infections are expected to boost the penetration rates worldwide. For instance, the cost of diagnosis is projected to decrease by one-fifth of the current cost,” says Barath Palada, a lead analyst at Technavio for in-vitro diagnostics research.
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Technavio healthcare and life sciences analysts highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global hepatitis B and C diagnostics market:
- Growing demand for molecular diagnostics in the diagnosis of HBV and HCV
- Strategies of healthcare organizations toward simplifying the diagnostic process
- Rising demand for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics
- Increase in demand for automation and system integration
Growing demand for molecular diagnostics in the diagnosis of HBV and HCV
The market is witnessing a growth in demand for molecular diagnostics for better diagnosis of HBV and HCV infections. Globally, nearly 600 hospital laboratories and 200 independent laboratories undertake high-volume testing that requires automated molecular diagnostic testing platforms that simplify and facilitate sample preparation. The sales of molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases such as HBV and HCV generate approximately 60% of overall molecular diagnostics market.
In addition, emerging companies are continuously focusing on developing new products, which is expected to change the market dynamics in the diagnosis of HBV and HCV infections. For instance, in April 2015, Cepheid announced that Xpert HCV Viral Load, a quantitative test that offers on-demand molecular testing for confirmation of infection and monitoring of HCV, has obtained CE-IVD status under the European Directive on IVD medical devices. The test runs on the Cepheid GeneXpert System, one of the leading molecular diagnostic platforms with more than 8,000 systems deployed in developed and emerging market countries.
Strategies of healthcare organizations toward simplifying the diagnostic process
The global healthcare organizations such as WHO are continuously strategizing to simplify the diagnostic process to drive the demand for HBV and HCV diagnostics. Currently, the HBV and HCV diagnostics market follows a two-step process for diagnosis. In the first step, an individual undergoes rapid diagnostic test for HCV antibodies. If the result is positive, the individual is then required to undergo HCV virological test, which is a confirmatory test that is done in a centralized laboratory.
Such long diagnostic processes may affect the adoption rates owing to increased costs. Therefore, healthcare organizations have introduced portable one-step diagnosis such as POC testing, which is likely to improve adoption rates and reduce the cost. This is expected to simplify the diagnosis process, thereby driving market demand.
Rising demand for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics
The increasing demand for POC tests for diagnosis of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections is expected to fuel market growth. This is because POC tests have the potential to improve the management of HBV and HCV diseases. These are particularly needed in resource-limited settings, where the access to quality and on-demand medical care is challenging. These tests provide rapid results, allowing for effective initiation of appropriate therapy. Most importantly, POC tests can be simple to be used at the primary care level and in remote settings without requiring laboratory infrastructure.
POC tests can potentially empower individuals to self-test in the privacy of their homes. Therefore, the vendors are continuously pursuing R&D activities to develop advanced POC tests for diagnosis of HBV and HCV infections. The new product launches are expected to drive market growth worldwide. For instance, in November 2015, Roche Diagnostics launched rapid tests for hepatitis C and hep C genotyping in Europe. This is expected to strengthen Roche Diagnostics' presence in molecular diagnostics by generating substantial sales in the market.
Increase in demand for automation and system integration
An increasing number of consumers are opting for fully automated and semi-automated systems over conventional (manual) systems. Laboratory automation increases productivity, with high test volumes handled efficiently by few people. This type of automation helps when there is a shortage of trained technicians. Also, automated systems provide precise results, which are otherwise difficult to achieve.
Vendors are developing devices and systems that help integrate laboratory applications. For instance, the COBAS 6000 modular platform by Roche Diagnostics offers optimum efficiency and consolidation in medium- and high-volume laboratories. The company estimates that 95% of the workload is consolidated into this system, which allows for an upgrade in workload. The system's software and graphical user interface (GUI) permit streamlined information management and offer solutions ranging from remote test ordering to sophisticated result analysis. “Integrated systems with enhanced automation and efficiency are expected to fuel market growth during the forecast period,” says Barath.
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