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Biochemistry Instruments and Reagents

Fostering a Spirit of Innovation in Biochemistry

Automation will play an even larger role in the future, going beyond operational effectiveness to also positively impact clinical effectiveness and ultimately help improve patient outcomes.

Worldwide, the biochemistry analyzers and reagents market is anticipated to gain momentum in the next few years on account of detection sensitivity and the advent of new methods, materials, and technology related to clinical biochemistry. The clinical biochemistry technology is reaching a new level, differing from where it was a decade ago, due to the aggressive development of instrument speed and precision.

Today, clinical diagnosis needs could be fulfilled with the use of biochemical analyzer, which is expected to detect a number of projects that cannot be detected with the help of traditional biochemical methods. Considering the development of biochemical tests being highly related to a nation’s healthcare improvement, biochemical detection could evolve as a critical part of clinical testing.

Market Dynamics
The global biochemistry analyzers market is poised to grow from nearly USD 3200 million in the year 2017 to about USD 4700 million by the end of 2024, estimates Persistence Market Research. This represents a CAGR of 5.5 percent. The global market for biochemistry analyzers represents an incremental dollar opportunity of nearly USD 1500 million between 2016 and 2024.

Fully automated biochemistry analyzers are expected to remain in great demand in the years to come. In 2018 and beyond, more than 85 percent of global biochemistry analyzers revenues will be accounted by sales of fully automated biochemistry analyzers. Moreover, clinical diagnostics will also remain the largest application of biochemistry analyzers over the next 6 years. Revenues accounted by global sales of biochemistry analyzers in clinical diagnostics are anticipated to register speedy growth at 5.7 percent CAGR.

Diagnostic centers will be the largest end-users of biochemistry analyzers and rising number of point-of-care (PoC) diagnostic labs instated in hospitals will render a key end-user of biochemistry analyzers. Together, hospitals and diagnostics centers will be responsible to procure over two-third of global biochemistry analyzers revenues through 2024.

The use of biochemistry analyzers in drug development applications is also expected to gain traction in the future. Based on modality, in 2017, more than 70 percent of the market value was accounted by bench-top biochemistry analyzers. However, toward the end of 2024, the demand for bench-top modality will incur a marginal decline, while floor-standing biochemistry analyzers will bring in over USD 1200 million in revenue.

Market Trends
Lab collaboration to reduce the diagnostic test cost by 40 percent. In India, the recent decision to reduce stent prices by 85 percent has set a new healthcare benchmark in the medical parlance. On similar lines, in an effort to reduce the price burden for people who spend a hefty amount of money on medical tests, 45 diagnostic laboratories in Bangalore city have come under one umbrella. This massive collaboration will reduce the price of many diagnostics tests by 40 percent on an average. The organization is named Association of Diagnostic Centers – Bengaluru. The association has till now published a list of 26 tests comparing the current test prices with the reduced prices. However, in this city, only 50 of the 1000 odd laboratories possessed high-end equipment. Currently, there is no mechanism in place to check prices that laboratories charge and this new initiative may be able to bridge the gap in the prices that are prevalent in different laboratories.

Positive identification with shorter turnaround time. Manufacturers are developing biochemistry analyzers with multiplex capabilities. Such types of analyzers possess the feature of positive identification that reduces the process of repeated pathogen testing. This becomes a critical feature in cases of samples that have low volume such as neonatal units. This type of system with shorter turnaround time gives advantages of high clarity and result accuracy. The feature of positive identification helps acquire accurate results in shorter run time by avoiding the inclusion of too many targets. On the other hand, besides pathogen testing, biochemistry analyzers are used for drug monitoring, drug abuse detection, and many more applications. Due to such technological advancements in the field of professional diagnostics, the applications of biochemistry analyzers that were initially restricted to the detection of infectious diseases are now venturing into other areas as well. As a result of this technological evolution, the diagnostics tests are now witnessing a boost in their demand.

Development of analyzers with low volume reagent consumption. Initially, biochemistry analyzers were used for repetitive analysis that consumed a lot of reagents. This has now changed and due to the replacement by discrete working systems, low volume reagents are now being used. The new instruments are able to automate repetitive sample analysis steps that would have otherwise been done manually by a lab technician. Moreover, as a result of the convergence of system engineering, automation, and IT technology, a significant change has been brought in the global biochemistry analyzers market. The use of ELISAs for clinical testing within a laboratory is time consuming and demands more personnel and resources. However, moving from ELISA technique to an automated biochemistry method increases time and personnel efficiency considerably, and this leads to cost-effectiveness as well.

Focus on volume and error-free testing is an upcoming trend boosting the global biochemistry analyzers market. As per the World Health Organization, in the year 2014, 65 percent of patients with suspected malaria cases in public health facilities in the WHO African region received a diagnostic test, as compared to just 41 percent in the year 2010. This example underscores the increase in the sample load on diagnostic labs. In addition, the percentage of the population that is insured is high as compared to previous years. This has also driven the need for more labs and automated systems. Moreover, the potential offered by medical diagnostics has attracted a number of private players. For example, in India, there are around one lakh diagnostic labs. The newly operating labs are installing automatic systems to handle higher sample load with accurate results. Due to a rise in the disposable income, the number of people with insurance has also increased, giving them accessibility to private labs that have high-end diagnostic instruments.

Fully automated clinical chemistry analyzers. Clinical chemistry analyzers have been undergoing constant changes, with fully automated devices now available in the market. These analyzers can perform functions such as recognition of sample and reagent bottles, tube sampling, cap piercing, automatic re-run, and dilution. They not only save human time and effort but also require lesser volumes of sample and reagent.

Outsourcing from hospitals to reference laboratories. Value-based outsourcing is one of the major trends in the market, where the laboratory tests are outsourced to clinical reference laboratories. Small hospitals lacking basic infrastructure for clinical diagnosis have agreements with clinical laboratories. The hospitals outsource the patients to these labs for undergoing various diagnostic tests. In the past years, the market is moving from fee-for-service to value-based-care model to shift laboratory services to outsourcing diagnostic vendors. The shift from hospital outsourcing services to reference laboratories will be a major growth driver for the market.

Way Forward
Automation and robotics are increasingly freeing life scientists from the need to baby-sit their experiments and this leads to increased productivity and lower costs for laboratories and more creative time for individual researchers. New analyzers deliver high throughput in lesser time and provide high efficacy. Similarly, PoC testing has gained momentum in the past years as the need for quick turnaround time and reliable results has accelerated. The fast access to results is particularly useful in critical situations when testing needs to be carried out at frequent intervals.

Today the technology has evolved from a hardware-based approach to a software-based approach. Highly advanced software are available for robotic operations with high throughput and to support various automated operations like auto dilution, auto-rerun with dilution, reflex testing, sample transport management, effective handling of samples, and reagent while maintaining the accuracy in volume measurement.

Taking into consideration current and future trends is essential in maximizing the lifespan of any analyzer. As systems become more sophisticated, integration, convenience, and application specificity are key. The continuing emergence of new, clinically significant biomarkers, and technological advancements have a significant impact on such assay development. Biochemistry analyzers will also become faster and more efficient as technology and software is developed and enhanced. Additionally, given the trends being observed among biochemistry labs today, automation will play an even larger role in the future, going beyond operational effectiveness to also positively impact clinical effectiveness and ultimately help improve patient outcomes.

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