Innovative point-of-care tests that can assist operators with capturing test results and “reading” for a specific diagnosis are driving revenue growth of the lateral flow test category, according to Kalorama Information. Driven by these enhancements and others, the lateral flow point of care testing market (LF-POC) grew to $3.6 billion worldwide in 2012, the healthcare market research firm said. While the largest segment of this market is fertility tests, many other areas, drugs of abuse and cardiac markers are seeing increased usage, according to Kalorama’s latest report Lateral Flow Technology and the Future of Point of Care Diagnostics.
Lateral flow (LF) devices and tests have been a popular platform for rapid immunoassays since their introduction in the mid-1980s. With lateral flow tests, the biological sample is added to a sample pad located at one end of the strip. The sample flows along the membrane to the conjugate pad, which contains detection molecules for a specific type of condition or marker. LF tests are simple, inexpensive, and useful where electricity or hospital equipment is not available. For many years, lateral flow POC tests have all been manual tests that for which the results are visually read by the person performing the test. Reading these tests has simply required the person to observe the presence or absence of a line to interpret a result. But this has its limitations, according to the report’s author.
“Sometimes that is not an issue, as a woman either is, or is not, pregnant and person either has the flu or not,” said Lucy Sannes, of Sannes and Associates. “On the other hand, there are also settings where a quantitative answer is beneficial or needed. Examples include tests for cardiac markers, oncology markers, and others.”
To overcome limitations such as these, many companies have developed and offer lateral flow test readers that can be used to digitally read and capture the test results. Kalorama Information’s report features 27 test products, such as the Diagenics DIACORDON Reader™ and the Nano-Ditech Nano Checker™, that offer readers to assist interpretation.
Growth in lateral flow point-of-care testing is also being fueled by the globalization of infectious diseases and the associated public health issues, advances in therapies giving physicians more tools for treatment of patients if the doctor is able to rapidly diagnose the problem, the need to monitor an ever-growing group of people with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other chronic conditions, and many other factors.
The report, Lateral Flow Technology and the Future of Point of Care Diagnostics, 2nd Edition, forecasts growth of LF-POC and breaks out the market into specific segments. It profiles companies in the market and describes trends that will impact future growth. It also breaks out the market into regions including the US, Europe and rest-of-world markets for specific business planning. The report can be found at http://www.kaloramainformation.com/Lateral-Flow-Technology-7717591/.