The menu for point-of-care (POC) testing covers continues to expand, and the future holds even more advancement of POC tests and devices including tests for cancer, molecular assays, and phone-enabled tests of all kinds, according to a new report from Kalorama Information.

According to the report, the market is currently valued at $17 billion.

“That’s nearly one-fourth of the global market for clinical testing products,” says Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. “And revenue growth rates which are detailed in our report demonstrate that rapid tests exhibit higher market growth due to the attractiveness of having results at the time of patient provider interaction, or soon thereafter.”

Kalorma notes that the traditional set of POC tests includes: blood glucose testing, blood gas and electrolytes analysis, rapid coagulation testing, rapid cardiac markers diagnostics, drugs of abuse screening, urine strips testing, pregnancy testing, fecal occult blood analysis, hemoglobin diagnostics, infectious disease testing, and cholesterol screening.

In the past 5-10 years, tests were added, including: HgA1c, B-Type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP), whole-blood lactate, D-Dimer, and C-Reactive Protein. Moreover, POC test devices have contributed significantly to the growth of the overall diagnostics market over the past 10 years. More diagnostic manufacturers have pursued CLIA waiver status for their POC devices and CE marks for POC or self-use. At the same time more decentralized test venues invest in non-waived rapid tests and instruments, POC testing appears to be headed for an even bigger role in diagnosis and monitoring patient care, the report states.

“In developing countries, POC devices for the very basic tests—hemoglobin and glucose and infectious diseases—can make a huge difference in a patient’s life, “says Carlson. “At this time, the market penetration of these POC tests is minimal due to a lack of people and financial resources, but watch this to change in the coming years.”

Past success of POC testing relied on the development of tests that use user-friendly techniques and alternative samples, according to the report.  For the next 5 years and beyond, a measure of success will depend on the addition of value added dimensions to POC tests, it continues.