Medical diagnostic devices can be as simple as a thermometer or as complicated as an MRI machine. An aging population, the emergence of new pathogens, the increasing prevalence of hospital-acquired infections, and the need for rapid results have fueled the growth and direction of the diagnostic market.
In Vitro Diagnostics Surges
In vitro diagnostics (IVDs), or diagnostic tests performed outside the body (such as blood tests, strep tests, and tests to identify COVID-19 infection), is a field growing at an annual rate of between 4.4% and 5.7%. Predictions put the IVD market in excess of $87 billion by 2024. Along with the devices themselves, the market for associated products like reagents used in molecular diagnostics, software, and diagnostic services is likely to grow steadily.
Point of Care Diagnostics Continues to Grow
Demand for bedside services and rapid test results creates associated market growth for point-of-care (POC) devices. The market for home health care and self-diagnostic testing at home will grow as patients are increasingly aware of over-the-counter home test kits for certain types of cancers and other conditions. Convenience and privacy are factors that contribute to patient demand for at-home testing.
The Impact of COVID-19
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 captured global attention and overtook the growth and direction of the diagnostic market, as well as spurring accelerated research on treatments and vaccines. The virus has caused the infectious disease segment of the diagnostic market to surge, and infectious disease diagnostics will likely dominate the overall diagnostics market for several years.
Molecular diagnostics remains a strong component of growth, affecting not only infectious disease but also inherited conditions and cancers. Identifying the specific genetic markers of different tumor types directly affects treatment; for example, certain types of monoclonal antibody therapies work with some kinds of tumors but not others. Genetic analysis of tumor tissue helps oncologists to identify the most promising therapies.
Microfluidics for POC and clinical diagnostics is expected to grow over 22% by 2025. Portability and improvements in accuracy, as well as rapid results, will spur growth as more healthcare providers and hospitals adopt devices that employ microfluidics in diagnostic devices.
Companies playing in the In Vitro Diagnostic space outsource disposable microfluic cartride development to mechanical engineering diagnostic device design services such as Symbient due to their capability to quickly iterate functional prototypes using commercial-ready materials. Prototyping helps to determine the cost-effectiveness of designs and verify that the device meets the specified needs and performs the task expected by the end user.