Clinical laboratories are running more tests and a greater variety of tests than they were able to in recent months, according to in vitro diagnostics market research firm Kalorama Information, Arlington, Va, part of Science and Medicine Group. This is a result of hospitals opening up space for operations other than covid-19, and as doctors see more patients in person, according to the firm.
Kalorama has been surveying labs across the United States about the number of tests they were running other than those to detect covid-19. When the firm last reported results on May 7, 82% of labs reported a “major decline” in tests for cancer, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, allergy, and other standard tests. When the firm asked later in the month, 62% of labs were still reporting a major decline.
Now, Kalorama Information says, the number of labs reporting a major decline is only 54%.
While still not optimal for the laboratory industry and IVD firms that sell products to them, the steep drop in clinical labs reporting major declines is promising, Kalorama says. The firm attributes this to the opening of elective surgeries in various states. Thirty states, including California, Texas, Ohio, Mississippi, and Utah, have recently relaxed restrictions on elective surgeries.
Kalorama also says that 15% of labs are now reporting “no decline” at all in non-covid-19 test volumes; that number was 3% in May. The company says this means more cancer testing, more pre-op and post-op blood work is being performed, and patients may be tested for diabetes and other conditions.
In addition to increased lab activity, there has been a surge in the development of lab supplies and products as IVD vendors tackle the crisis. Over 100 lab tests of various types have received an FDA emergency use authorization, and hundreds more are being sold under the European Union CE mark. Vendors continue to enlarge the number of tests in molecular and immunoassay tests, including several recent innovations.
For more information, visit Kalorama.