The foundation of a successful health care system is the ability to provide comprehensive diagnostic testing. This testing provides the critical information that every provider of health care services is going to need so that an appropriate health care decision can be made. Molecular diagnostics are able to provide the exact measurements that are needed to inform providers of the information that is needed at every stage of care. Because of this, the market size of the molecular diagnostics market is quite large.
In 2012, the overall global market for diagnostics was valued at $45.6 billion. It is expected to grow by 2017 to have a market size of $64.6 billion.
Molecular diagnostics make up about 11% of this total market, or about $5 billion. It is the fastest overall growing segment of the diagnostics market, however, and there is expected to be 12% annual growth within it for the foreseeable future.
The molecular diagnostic requirements of the United States and Europe are expected to encompass up to 60% of the total revenues that this field of industry is expected to see. Even so, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing area of the world when it comes to molecular diagnostics. The US share alone is about 33% of the total market size as it currently exists today.
Improved Technologies Are Expanding the Market Size
Molecular diagnostics are definitely benefiting from the improvements in technology that have been seen in this field over the last two decades. A classic example of this is the molecular diagnostic test to diagnose resistant tuberculosis. Even in areas where TB is not under control it would normally take up to 8 weeks to get test results back from a patient. New protocols and technology allow for these same tests to be developed in just 2 hours. This allows for portable testing and many communities are receiving comprehensive health care for sometimes the first time in history because of it.
This has come about thanks to technology that allows for better and faster molecular diagnostics. In order for medical researchers to begin conquering a disease, they need to be able to understand it at a molecular level. That’s what these testing protocols are able to provide. Although a majority of modern testing involves blood screen for specific health concerns.
Another reason for the expanding market size, though more concerning than the other reasons, is that diseases and genetic disorders are becoming more prevalent. Testing is expanding because more people are being diagnosed with cancer and infectious diseases today than in the past. If Europe is able to streamline their compensation policies for molecular diagnostics as their economy improves after the Great Recession of 2008-2009, the expansion could be bigger than anyone could ever imagine.
Why Is Molecular Diagnostics So Important to Modern Health
Think about how a fever works. If you place a hand on someone who has a fever, they will typically feel warmer to the touch. This is all it takes to diagnose that the person with the fever is sick. Steps can be taken to control body temperature, such as cool rags or ice baths. What cannot be discovered from this diagnostic process is what kind of fever the person has so that a more effective treatment protocol can be developed.
Is the patient suffering from scarlet fever or yellow fever? Is there a viral infection present or is it a bacterial infection? Molecular diagnostics help to detect the specific microorganisms that may be causing that fever. This way antibiotics may be prescribed for a bacterial infection or other treatment protocols can be implemented so that more than just overall body temperature is targeted as a symptom reduction option.
Molecular diagnostics take this concept to the next level. Instead of looking at whether a bacteria or a viral cause is behind an illness, the diagnostics will look at the different molecules of the cells in question. The RNA, DNA, and even the proteins of the cell can be analyzed and then an appropriate response can be tailored which is based on the role that these molecular sequences have in the formulation of disease.
What Does the Future Look Like For Molecular Diagnostics?
Since genes were first sequenced more than a decade ago, the ability to have a full molecular testing has been available to the general public. It is the cost that has held this market back for so long. Today, however, these full genetic tests that can completely track a person’s molecular sequences is available for about $1,000 and prices are continuing to fall thanks to advancements in technology that make the process faster and easier.
High demand within the IVD industry is also going to potentially fuel a more rapid increase in the molecular diagnostics market share than analysts expect. In just a few years, molecular diagnostics has taken a market that wasn’t in existence just a few years ago and turned it into a potentially multi-billion annual market in the United States alone. As the FDA approves more molecular diagnostic tests for genetic variations and cancer responses become enhanced with specific genetic influences, the market share could become extremely massive.
What also helps the market forecast with molecular diagnostics is the fact that the major contributors to the industry tend to cohabit within their field more than they directly compete with each other. This allows each key player to focus on their primary strengths through research and development without the worries that another key player is going to attempt to take over a majority of their business.
As private laboratories continue to pop up to provide the average person with access to molecular diagnostics, one thing remains clear: we are still just in the beginning stages of this testing industry. The future looks bright for this industry and the market share information proves it.