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Does the Economic Downturn Impact Point of Care?

Stephans, Emery J. MS; Conti, Gerard MS; Keane, Michelle MBA; Farber, Susan MBA

Point of Care: The Journal of Near-Patient Testing & Technology: December 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 4 - p 141-144
doi: 10.1097/POC.0b013e3181c0efb2
Original Articles

The objective of this article was to assess if the 2007-2009 recession impacts point-of-care (POC) testing; if the effect for POC in hospitals is worse, about the same, or not as stressful as the central laboratory; and whether POC testing in hospitals and in the consumer sector continues to grow. An additional goal is to make some rough projections for the next few years and consider a high-level view of the POC sector of the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) industry. For the purposes of this article, we take a broad view of POC testing and use Dr Kricka's definition (Point of Care 2009;8:42-44), which includes home, pharmacy, supermarket, physician office, and the hospital bedside.

We use the Enterprise Analysis Corporation's (EAC's) "Global IVD Scenario Model" (the EAC's Global IVD Industry Scenario Model contains a database of past, current, and projected sales for 85 companies in 16 disciplines for 9 years: historical sales for the past 3 years, data for the current year, and EAC-prepared projections for the next 5 years. The model is updated quarterly; it has been in use at EAC since 2006) to estimate total IVD sales and POC's share, as well as to prepare projections for future sales, and analyze the covered population of the top 85 companies. To obtain data on the current impact of the recession, a possible differential impact on POC testing and its expected near-term impact, we conducted a brief market research survey in a population of 130 US hospital respondents.

The study indicates that the short answer is yes and concludes that the recession has a notable impact in all sectors of POC and that the impact is especially strong in whole-blood glucose testing. On a more positive note, the study finds that general POC testing, that is, POC without whole-blood glucose, can look forward to continued growth in the long term, 2015 time frame, in fact at an increased growth rate in the range of 8% to 9%. Finally, the assessment indicates that the projected mid- to long-term growth of the POC market segment is attracting a number of companies to develop some innovative technologies to better satisfy perceived customer needs.

From the Enterprise Analysis Corporation, Stamford, CT.

Reprints: Emery J. Stephans, MS, 2777 Summer St, Stamford, CT 06905. E-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.