The clinical diagnostic tests performed by laboratories can be broadly classified into four major categories, namely, clinical chemistry, medical microbiology & cytology, human and tumour genetics and other esoteric tests. Ranging from routine blood and urine tests to high-end genetic analysis including fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), molecular expression testing, etc., clinical laboratories offer numerous tests that help detect disease progression and abnormalities. The three major types of service providers in this market include hospital-based laboratories, clinic-based laboratories and stand-alone laboratories. The global market for clinical laboratory services is expected to record a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period of 2013 to 2019, to grow from a USD 162.71 billion market in 2012 to a USD 241.37 billion market in 2019.
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With the increasing incidence rates of debilitating conditions such as cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases, the number of patients that will opt for such tests will continue to increase in the future and thereby increase the demand for these services. Moreover, the percentage of aged population in the U.S. is expected to grow to an estimated 20% by 2030. Such a large population of elderly people in the U.S. alone will lead to high testing volumes for clinical laboratories. Diagnostics manufacturers such as Roche Holdings, Genomic Health, Abbott Diagnostics, Qiagen, etc. are focusing their efforts towards developing products and systems that would enable highly accurate analysis of patient samples and also enable processing of thousands of samples at a time. This will help clinical laboratories to cope with the rising demand and in turn ensure revenue generation.
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The clinical laboratory services market in Asia-Pacific is expected to show tremendous growth during the period 2013 to 2019, owing to the large population of the region with high unmet medical needs. The healthcare reimbursement scenario in this region being highly unorganized, may slightly hamper the growth of this market. However, lack of stringent regulatory framework will offset this and ensure growth during the forecast period. North America, which leads the market in terms of revenue generation, is expected to continue to do so during the forecast period due to the sophisticated healthcare infrastructure, favorable reimbursement scenario and the increasing incidence rates of diseases.
The dominance of hospital-based laboratories will continue throughout the forecast period due to the huge difference in testing volumes of these laboratories as compared to the other two. However, stand-alone laboratories are gaining increasing importance in the wake of quicker sample processing and ease of access for patients.
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The market is highly oligopolistic in nature with a few major players accounting for more than 50% of the market. Some of the market leaders in this space include Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, Quest Diagnostics, Inc., Sonic Healthcare, Healthscope, Genoptix Medical Laboratory, Labco S.A., Charles River Laboratories, Bio-Reference Laboratories, Spectra Laboratories, and Abbott Laboratories.
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