Rajesh Patel
Business Head
Agappe Diagnostics Ltd.

Urinalysis Instruments and Reagents Robust Growth Ahead

Urinalysis instruments and reagents market in India is growing at a faster rate with a CAGR of 15 percent. The market is dominated by urine chemistry strips, which comprises both visual strips and multiparameter strips used in the analyzer.

In urine chemistry, visual strip sales accounts the major share where glucose and protein strips are having the highest share due to the higher diabetic population in India. With increase in awareness, there is an increase in the ACR strips (Albumin Creatinine Ratio) along with diabetic profile testing. Multiparameter urine strips sales is also gaining momentum and now there are strips having 14 different chemistries including microalbumin. One of the growth driver in this segment is the introduction of handheld urine analyzer devices, which is majorly focused on the physician’s office and also for self-testing. These systems are highly affordable systems with very user-friendly interface for the POCT market. There is a high competition in this segment where manufacturers are bringing down the cost of the hardware to address the competition. Even though the number of urine sample testing is increasing year on year it is not correlating to the number of strips sold annually in India. The reason behind this is the fact that still there are large number of customers in the rural India who are cutting the strips to reduce the cost.

Urine sediment analysis is growing at a slower pace compared to the chemistry segment. More than 90 percent of the total sediment analysis is still performed manually using centrifugation and microscopical examination. Since the testing protocol is simple, effective and with a low cost, the manual method is the preferred choice for the laboratories. Automation in urine sediment analysis is confined to few companies mainly from Europe or Japan. There are companies from China but are not successful in the market. One of the reason behind the slow growth in this segment is the cost of the hardware and consumables. The systems currently present in the market are costly systems, which required skilled maintenance protocols eluding the larger population.

Most of the urine sediment systems comes as integrated systems along with the urine chemistry strip reader and hence requires high sample workload. For the last few years there is no new innovative product is introduced into the market in this segment. There are a couple of installations happened last year for the integrated urine analyzer platforms mainly in the corporate hospitals, but still the total installed base in India for the urine sediment analyzer is very minimal.

At present the urinalysis market in India largely depends on import. The hardware is mainly imported and there are few companies in India in manufacturing the reagents. Moving forward the growth of this segment largely depends on the localization and there are few Indian manufacturers who envisioned this and started the local manufacturing of reagents as well as instruments. We believe that with the localization of the reagent strips and the hardware, the price per strip, and the instrument will reduce drastically and there will be a surge in the sales volume of the semi-automated urinalysis platforms and urine chemistry reagents in the coming years.

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