RIDT Sees Mounting Demand for its Faster, More Accurate, and Highly Specific Outcome
Influenza, one of the prime mortality causes, has given rise to around 7 million cases in the US alone in 2019. Seasonal flu remains a serious condition, underpinning the need for hospitalisation in a majority of the afflicted patients. The need for rapid critical diagnosis prevails, driving the demand for rapid influenza diagnostic testing (RIDT) in the global market. The concerns are more severe in case of high-risk populations such as those living with diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and other chronic ailments. The consistently rising use of rapid diagnostic tests as a means of point-of-care testing forms a strong base for accelerating adoption of RIDT, which is strongly driven by the rapid, and accurate result that it provides.
The more common type, influenza A, is highly communicable and has been responsible for multiple epidemic outbreaks in the past, leading to thousands of deaths annually. Such epidemics were popularly referred to as that of avian flu, or bird flu. This type of flu will remain the top demand generator for rapid influenza diagnostic testing worldwide. On the other side, the prevalence of influenza B is also rising as the most common host that the virus picks is humans. Demand for RIDT for influenza B is thus also set to climb up in the near future.
The COVID-19 Impact on RIDT Market Expansion
The widening commercial availability of improved diagnostic measures has been working to the advantage of the market. Rapid influenza diagnostic testing is technically a molecular assay that works rapidly than usual, and delivers high accuracy, high sensitivity, and high specificity. The ease of use, rapid outcome, high accuracy and specificity of the results collectively continue to make RIDT a reliable method for influenza diagnostics, accounting for its growing usage clinical decision-making in terms of diagnosis, and treatment. While hospitals are expected to remain the key consumer segment, a large number of diagnostic centres, and laboratory testing units will also register noteworthy adoption in the near future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the situation recently. The rate of flu testing has been rocketing across the US. Patients continue to record confusion between flu, and COVID-19 as both of these represent similar initial symptoms. However, both the viruses differ in terms of their serial intervals, and the associated rates of mortality. Along with COVID-19 diagnostics, rapid influenza diagnostic testing has also been shot up amid the pandemic.
Increasing Role of Governments, and Non-governmental Entities in Research
Various research funds have been favouring market growth through novel influenza research outcomes that potentially aid in the discovery of flu diagnostics, vaccines, treatment, and therapeutics. Internationally recognised entities like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) often extend support to such research studies. Projects like the Universal Influenza Vaccine Initiative, with strong governmental support, are expected to be the pivotal factor for the build-up of the rapid influenza diagnostic testing market. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has its own set of stringent regulations for all the rapid antigen influenza tests.
Paediatrics Becomes a Highly Lucrative Segment for RIDT Providers
Rapid influenza diagnostic tests are likely to pick up rapidly within the paediatrics segment during the period of assessment. A heavy upsurge in influenza prevalence among children that critically demands serious severity control measures is a strong factor driving growth of the rapid influenza diagnostic testing market. The swelling seasonal flu burden on paediatric care system has also been the reason behind alarmingly high rates of mortality, and morbidity, opines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US). The soaring hospitalisation rate thereby tends to push the market growth. An increasing number of paediatric healthcare facilities is further boosting the adoption rate worldwide to a certain extent. The prevalence is high in adults as well, especially younger adults, elderly people with one or more comorbidities, and pregnant women. This will also remain one of the key factors fostering rapid influenza diagnostic testing business.
The US Provides a Strong Fertile Ground for RIDT Market Players
The US, on account of the solid technological advances, and research-favourable environment, has been among the strongest regional grounds for the proliferation of influenza diagnostic testing market. The highly sophisticated healthcare infrastructure, advancing field of diagnostics, skilled professionals, and strong government support further uplift the prospectus of the US market in the rapid influenza diagnostic testing landscape. In 2017, the FDA re-classified RIDTs to class II devices from class I, effectively mandating RIDTs to meet specific minimum criteria for sensitivity and specificity.
The demand for RIDT has also been on the rise in Canada as the country houses exceptional-quality healthcare facilities, and constantly witnesses a considerably high rate of hospital admissions. The Canadian market for rapid influenza diagnostic testing also gains from heavy government funds going into public education intended to raise the awareness about influenza diagnosis, and treatment.
While Asia Pacific also remains one of the key markets for RIDT providers owing to the expanding flu patient population, as well as the presence of a massive high-risk patient mass, the most promising opportunities are likely to be residing in India and surroundings. This market attractiveness is attributable to the thriving rate of RIDT kits adoption across the country over the recent past.
Competition Landscape, and Recent Developments in Global RIDT Space
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Abbott Laboratories, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Becton, Dickinson and Company, Hologic, Luminex Corporation, Quidel Corporation, GenMark Diagnostics, Inc., Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Danaher Corporation (Cepheid), Biocartis, bioMérieux Inc, and Endress+Hauser (Analytik Jena AG) are some of the top companies operating in the global rapid influenza diagnosis testing market.
R&D, and innovations are likely to remain the key growth strategies of market leaders. Acquisitions, and collaborations are also expected to be the preferred moves of companies seeking a stronger foothold in regional, as well as global landscapes. Recently in 2020, Sekisui Diagnostics made an announcement that it has received an FDA approval, and CLIA Waiver for its OSOM® Ultra Plus Flu A&B Test. The launch of this improved, and more accurate test kit was planned with in intent to fortify the company’s flu portfolio performance.