A Comprehensive Overview of the Clinical Laboratory Services Market: Extensive R&D Programs to Stimulate the Industry Growth

March 15, 2018

With the rising awareness about early diagnosis of critical illnesses, clinical laboratory services market has been making vast progress in the last couple of decades. On account of the massive prevalence of chronic ailments like cancer, diabetes, kidney disorder, cardiovascular and neurological diseases and the emergence of new diseases like Zika and Ebola virus, clinical laboratories have emerged as a fundamental and essential part of the healthcare system. With a vast number of technological advancements in laboratory sciences, the accuracy of diagnosis has been increasing, adding a significant stimulus to the clinical laboratory services market. According to the WHO, laboratory results are important for meeting international health obligations like the International Health Regulations (IHR) besides maintaining health security and national development. Indeed, this claim has extensively supported the popularity of laboratory services, helping clinical laboratory services industry size to register phenomenal growth in the ensuing years.

Governmental initiatives to impact clinical laboratory services market size

In 2009, President Barack Obama announced a Global Health Initiative (GHI) which was established to be a $63 billion comprehensive health initiative focusing on various health challenges across the globe. A major portion of GHI’s funds was allocated for the development and upkeep of affordable and effective clinical laboratories to ensure timely and high-quality test results that would be useful to doctors and research experts alike. Though the GHI has been disbanded since then, the core principles put in place by the GHI are still persistent and have majorly stimulated clinical laboratory services market, further validating the significance of these laboratories in the healthcare space.

Disease management to benefit from clinical laboratory services market expansion

In addition to improving the overall healthcare service, clinical laboratory test results are also important for appropriate treatment and controlling mortality rates. For instance, in 2004, a study was conducted in a Tanzanian hospital where 4670 patients were admitted and treated for malaria, but laboratory test results showed that less than 50% of these patients had malaria. Efficient clinical laboratory tests could have pointed out that these patients were not suffering from malaria and thus their treatment could have been more effective. Such misdiagnosis can prove to be fatal in case of HIV, meningitis, influenza like swine flu, bird flu, etc., which have lately threatened the global populace. In consequence, regional governments and humanitarian organizations are working towards strengthening clinical practices in clinical laboratory services industry.

The growth of clinical laboratory services market has been observed to be quite exponential in the developed countries. Since 70% of all treatment and critical medical decisions are based on quantifiable laboratory data, the enhancement of laboratory facilities and services is inevitable for the prevention and cure of diseases. Clinical laboratory services industry boasts of numerous growth avenues by producing accurate test results that work in favor of effective disease management, bringing down the overall cost of healthcare. Indeed, the market contributes to saving a lot of revenue that would have been spent on therapy after the patient would have survived the trauma of long illness and suffering due to wrong diagnosis.

Clinical laboratory services - an inevitable part of healthcare

Technological advancements will continue to improve the efficiency and productivity of laboratories, thus propelling clinical laboratory services market size. New disease strains, the speed at which diseases tend to spread across the globe, and distinct threats like bio-terrorism have made rapid testing and diagnosis a pivotal necessity, thus acting as major drivers for clinical laboratory services market. Taking these factors into account, most hospitals have come to establish their own laboratories. Indeed, hospital-based laboratories accounted for $113 billion of the overall clinical laboratory services market share in 2015, a trend that is forecast to continue over 2016-2024. In order to manage increasing costs of laboratory tests as well as to shift the workload to a third party, hospitals often enter into partnerships with independent laboratories, thus impelling stand-alone clinical laboratory services industry size.

Clinical laboratory services market has been rapidly evolving ever since the 1980s, as technology and innovation are continuing to dramatically influence the industry landscape. There has been commendable growth in the range and complexity of tests and services in the developed nations of North America and Europe owing to the large-scale adoption of automation in their laboratory services. Laboratory technology is also the forerunner of medical advances as is evident through the fact that often, testing and screening of a certain condition is available much before there is any advancement in finding an effective treatment for that condition. This trend indeed, will massively propel clinical laboratory services market outlook in the ensuing years. Innovations in laboratory technology and revolution of information technology for transfer of data has benefitted healthcare providers and patients, increasing investments in clinical laboratory services industry. This would inevitably pave the way for the growth of the clinical laboratory services market, which is expected to surpass USD 342 billion by 2024.