Cardiac marker POC tests are now widely used in hospitals and have emerged as a successful model of the concept of point-of-care diagnostics, according to a new report from Kalorama Information.

The 2008 world market for POC cardiac enzymes and tests is estimated at $490 million, and growing at 12% a year for the past three years, according to "Point of Care Diagnostics 2010 and Beyond: Rapid Testing at a Crossroads," from healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information.

Cardiac markers are specific enzymes or proteins that tend to be concentrated when a cardiac event is likely to occur. BNP, CK-MB, myoglobin and troponin I/T are the most commonly tested markers. Testing for these markers can reliably indicate when intervention is or isn’t necessary. Lab-based tests can take up to 24 hours, which has driven demand for the point-of-care products that can deliver "stat" results.

"After many years of tests to prove effectiveness, there has been the stark realization that cardiac markers are useful to rule out or rule in the variety of cardiovascular conditions that are present in an ER," said Shara Rosen, the report’s author.

The leaders in the cardiac enzyme POC market are Inverness’s Triage, Siemens’s Stratus, and Roche’s POC systems (Accutrend Plus, Roche Cardiac 200, Cobas h232). Of all POC testing that occurs in hospitals, cardiac marker tests are the fastest growing segment. There are also at least another 20 companies that sell test strips for all or one of the marker panels. These companies’ rapid tests help physicians triage cardiac patients more quickly.

Point-of-care or decentralized testing has long been the standard of care for glucose, but in other areas results have been mixed. Products have been utilized, but never in the numbers that were predicted when the technologies were developed. The growth of cardiac markers is one part of a significant trend towards the use of POC tests, which now represent 15% of all tests conducted in hospitals. POC testing has expanded because of studies that demonstrate the clinical effectiveness of these tests and technological improvements that have increased their accuracy. Kalorama’s research looks at the current state of glucose testing, as well as other emerging POC test categories, including the fast growing infectious disease and cholesterol test segments.

Kalorama Information’s "Point of Care Diagnostics 2010 and Beyond: Rapid Testing at a Crossroads," provides an in-depth analysis of world markets for OTC and professional POC tests. A review of technology and industry trends, EMR connectivity, and healthcare reform, a breakdown of testing by venue and test segment, and profiles of key companies operating in this market are included.

Source: Kalorama Information