The last decade has seen enormous progress in the exploration and understanding of the behavior of molecules in their natural cellular environments at increasingly high spatial and temporal resolution. Advances in microscopy, development of new fluorescent reagents, and genetic editing have enabled quantitative analyses of protein interactions, intracellular trafficking, metabolic changes, and signaling. Modern biochemistry now faces new and exciting challenges. The quality, price, and availability of high-throughput sequencing instruments have improved to the point that this technology may be close to becoming a routine tool in the diagnostic laboratory. Two groups of challenges, however, have to be resolved in order to move this powerful research technology into routine use in the clinical microbiology laboratory. The computational/bioinformatic challenges include data storage cost and privacy concerns, requiring analyses to be performed without access to cloud storage or expensive computational infrastructure. The logistical challenges include interpretation of complex results and acceptance and understanding of the advantages and limitations of this technology by the medical community.

Indian Market Dynamics

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The Indian market for biochemistry instruments and reagents in 2015-16 was valued at 1060 crore, with reagents dominating with a 75 percent market share. The Indian market is steadily shifting to reagents sold for open systems, their share having gone up from 50 percent in 2014-15 to 55 percent in 2015-16.

In the analyzer segment, the market is moving toward automated systems, which constituted 57 percent of the market in
2015-16. Upgrading the laboratories to totally computerized fully automated systems has made a big difference in the bottom lines of many laboratories, by cutting down the cost of consumables and less requirement of qualified and trained technicians. These factors have prompted lab managers to go in for automation.

Bench-top lower-throughput analyzers are seeing maximum growth. These analyzers have been developed without compromising on efficiency and accuracy of the system.

Adenosine deaminase activity (ADA) infection markers for TB diagnosis are increasingly being used on the biochemistry platform.

Customers are placing a lot of weightage on the quality of service backup they receive. The emphasis is on getting complete solutions from a single company.

High-end laboratories opt for automated integrated systems. Development of software programs has also allowed the integration of various workflows of biochemistry analyzers for better control and operational efficiency.

biochemistryThe last couple of years have seen an increase not only in the number of hospital-attached laboratories but also an exponential growth in the diagnostic laboratories run by branded players in the Indian diagnostics market, including Super Religare Laboratories, Dr Lal Pathlabs, Quest Diagnostics, Thyrocare, and Metropolis. Entry of corporates into the pathology and laboratory segment with Tier-II and Tier-III expansions is leading to consolidation. The existing smaller labs are being taken over by corporate chains.

Road Ahead

The future of biochemistry lies in a patient-centered laboratory. Biochemistry laboratories need to focus in five areas: improved utilization of existing and new tests; definition of new roles for laboratory professionals that are focused on optimizing patient outcomes by adding value at all points of the diagnostic brain-to-brain cycle; development of standardized protocols for prospective patient-centered studiesw of biomarker clinical effectiveness or extra-analytical process effectiveness; benchmarking of existing and new tests in specified situations with commonly accepted measures of effectiveness; and agreed definition and validation of effectiveness measures and use of checklists for articles submitted for publication.

Progress in these areas is essential in order to enhance the value of laboratory tests and prevent valuable information from being lost in meaningless data. This requires effective collaboration with clinicians, and a determination to accept patient outcome and patient experience as the primary measure of laboratory effectiveness.

Laboratories now desire complete solutions from a single provider, like closed-system reagents with calibrators and controls, and viable software. This can help them in negotiation and also assure reliable service support. Companies are launching their next-gen biochemistry automated integrated systems to suit the need of high-end laboratories. There is a demand for leases and reagent rental contracts, which minimize maintenance requirements.Additionally, the biochemistry analyzer market is moving toward testing consolidation, which is creating demand for integrated systems with expanded capabilities, thereby securing the future of next-generation laboratory analyzers.

Indian Market Dynamics is based on market research conducted by Medical Buyer in January 2016.


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