Diagnostic companies earned over $2 billion in revenue selling to physician offices that conduct testing on premises last year, according to healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information in a new report on this diagnostic market segment, "Physician Office Laboratory (POL) Testing Markets Worldwide: Status Quo and Future Trends." The firm last studied physician office labs, or POLs, three years ago and estimated a $1.8 billion market then; since that time they report modest growth and an expansion of these labs.

"While the physician office market has not grown at the double digit rates predicted in the 1990s, we have seen steady growth," said Shara Rosen, lead diagnostics analyst for Kalorama Information and author of the report. "Major IVD companies have begun tailoring their chemistry, hematology, and immunoassay systems for the physician office."

Kalorama Information defines a physician office lab as anything from small physician practices performing a few rapid tests to large practices of some 200 physicians that operate labs similar to small hospital laboratories. While broad, the definition captures much of the testing that occurs at the point of care, where results can be relevant to clinical decisions.

Dipstick urinalysis, and glucose and pregnancy tests are the type of nearly error-free tests that are most conducted in physician offices, though a few can conduct more complex tests. The field is competitive with nearly 100 companies manufacturing products for the POL market, according to the report.

Source: Kalorama Information