Technology market research firm BCC Research has reported that the global market for general labware is expected to touch $6.7 billion in 2017, up from $3.9 in 2012. The BCC Research report ‘General Laboratory Equipment: Global Markets’ looks at four geographic segments, North America, Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world (ROW). The value of North American segment is expected to be highest – $2.2 billion in 2017, followed by the European market $1.7 billion in that year. In Asia, the Chinese market for lab equipment is growing at a very fast pace of about 20 percent annually.
There are many factors driving the demand for laboratory equipment. One important factor is the rising demand for rapid testing. With the shortening of the length of hospital stays and the move from inpatient to outpatient settings, the demand for performing tests in shorter turnaround time has gone up. This has led to an increase in the volume of testing.
In the United States, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 2010 and increased fund allocations to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) are also driving the lab equipment market. Lab equipment sales will most likely rise as more laboratory tests and procedures are performed with the expansion of health coverage to 27 million more Americans.
Point of care testing (POCT) in emergency departments, intensive care units and patients’ homes is on the rise. Manufacturers of laboratory equipment are coming out with multiplex assay systems that allow simultaneous testing of several analytes from just one small sample. Such technological advancements are driving the POC market and contributing to general overall trends.
Another market factor is vitro diagnostics (IVD), especially molecular and tissue diagnostics. This in turn is being driven by the increased demand for infectious disease testing, rise in the aging population in developed nations, increased incidence of chronic diseases among all population segments, and rising demand for automation in labs.
The BCC Research report points out that to stay competitive, manufacturers need to focus on developing “higher quality lab equipment and time-saving, autoprecision devices”.