Top News Stories 20142014 was a very eventful year globally for the clinical diagnostics industry. Milestones were set and new products and services launched. Deadly diseases such as Ebola struck and U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other domestic and international partners came together to battle the virus. We have put together some of the key events of 2014 that we featured in our blogs, which keep you updated as events unfold.

With the spread of infectious diseases and demand for high sensitivity point-of-care (POC) hematology testing, it is not surprising that the global hematology analyzer and reagents market is expected to witness high growth. A recent report predicts that this market will grow at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2014 to 2019, and that it will be valued at $3.13 billion by 2019. Other factors contributing to high growth in this market are increased automation by diagnostic labs, technical advancements in instrumentation and the incorporation of basic flow-cytometry techniques in the modern analyzers.

Similar trends have been forecast for the global clinical chemistry analyzer market which, according to a Markets and Markets study, is set to grow at a CAGR of 5.52% between 2014 and 2019. This could be explained by factors such as growth in the basic metabolic panel tests, better awareness about preventive care, rising incidence of lifestyle diseases, increase in aging population and laboratory automation.

Despite high growth in many aspects of healthcare and technology, medical experts are still searching for answers to the causes and treatment approaches for many deadly diseases. For instance, medical experts were baffled when a mysterious illness with polio-like symptoms struck a few California children in February this year. All of them had been vaccinated against the poliovirus and treatment did not seem to have been effective in restoring motor function. Polio had been declared eradicated in the United States over three decades ago.

In March, Ebola broke out in West Africa, leaving experts rooting for answers. Governments and private players the world over are collaborating to fight this deadly disease. Greiner Bio-One North America, Inc. set an exemplary example by supporting the fight against Ebola with a monetary donation and free medical supplies, including its VACUETTE® Venous Blood Collection Tubes and the VACUETTE® TUBE-TOUCH passive safety device. The company called upon its partners, competitors and peers to make similar contributions to help combat and control EVD.

This year, leading manufacturers of diagnostic and laboratory equipment came out with testing solutions for killers like cancer. Beckman Coulter Diagnostics announced the availability of a new Prostate Health Index (phi), a simple, non-invasive blood test for detecting prostate cancer. Three times more accurate in detecting prostate cancer than PSA (prostate-specific antigen), this simple, non-invasive blood test is available to physicians across the U.S.

Roche Holding AG (ROG) made a mark by winning FDA approval for the Cobas HPV test to detect the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in women 25 and older. This allowed Roche to market this test as a first-choice alternative for cervical cancer screening ahead of the Pap test.

In 2015 and beyond, the clinical microbiology laboratory would need to focus on making the best use of advanced communications, interactive technology, rapid diagnostics, point-of-care service, and diagnostic algorithms to bring about measurable changes in patient outcomes. As a dedicated supplier of laboratory equipment, Block Scientific will continue to provide tangible value to its clients worldwide to support these goals.