Medical practice can be divided into the diagnosis of disease and its treatment. Globally in vitro diagnostics (IVD) forms the largest single segment of the medical technology market (around 10%). In Europe, that expenditure still only represents about 0.7% of total healthcare expenditure, even though it is widely accepted that around 70% of clinical decisions are influenced by in vitro diagnostics. The European IVD market is valued at some €10 billion, with the largest markets being Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the U.K.
IVDs are tests performed on a sample outside of their normal biological context, typically on a tissue sample or bodily fluid (blood or urine chiefly). Historically IVDs were found within a laboratory environment under the use of the pathology disciplines and biomedical scientists, and most still are, however IVD tests can now also be carried out at Point of Care (POC – also called near patient testing) or through home testing (such as pregnancy tests or self-monitoring of glucose for diabetes management).
There are considerable challenges facing the segment – budget constraints, increased regulatory hurdles, more low-priced entrants – all of which put pressure on growth and margins. However, the demand for evidence-based approval processes for wider med tech and pharma is creating a need for high-end diagnostics through the patient pathway. This is building a market for companion (CDx) diagnostics and molecular (MDx) diagnostics, which is where much of the innovation is arising from both existing and start-up companies. The current Covid-19 pandemic has also illustrated the need for reliable, convenient mass diagnostic capacity and many diagnostic businesses are involved in developments surrounding the pandemic.
For both the challenges and opportunities facing the IVD market, Taruna can offer flexibility as a sales channel, whether its market entry, increased coverage or providing an ability to actively sell parts of a portfolio that only receive minor attention at present.