Strategic Impact In Life Science Markets

strategic impact in life science markets

The impact of COVID-19 on the diagnostics field: Laboratory Test Volumes, Challenges and Potential Services to Improve Workflow

Introduction

Laboratory testing has a central position in providing insight and direction on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Laboratories are requested to increase testing volumes and cope with changes in demand and workflows. This may lead to changes in laboratory needs and engagement models. 

Therefore, SUAZIO Consulting took a closer look and interviewed a sample of laboratory professionals in the USA and EU to understand expected test volumes, changes in workflow and expected services from laboratory diagnostics suppliers. 

For this analysis, we interviewed a total of 64 laboratory professionals in the USA (N=19), EU (N=40) and APAC (N=5). Interviews were conducted in June 2020. Characteristics of sample are provided in Figure 1 & 2.

Distribution of respondents by Laboratory type & professional profile

Test volumes

Our sample expected an average of 60% test volume increase, compared to pre-COVID, for PCR and Viral Molecular tests in a 3-month outlook. Overall, antibody tests and respiratory tests were indicated to increase, with 53% and 51% respectively. (Figure 3)

Average test volumes compared to pre-COVID in 3 months from now (June 2020)

Lasting impact and weeks to normal

83% of the respondents believe COVID-19 will have a lasting impact in their laboratory test volumes in the next year. On average, our sample expects to return to normal, pre-COVID-19 test volumes in 22 weeks, with differences between EU (24 weeks) and USA (18 weeks) and between Laboratory Manager (23 weeks) and Head of Laboratory (19 weeks). (Figure 4)

Respondents who believe COVID has a lasting impact on their laboratory test volumes in next year and average weeks to return to pre-COVID lab volumes

Challenges & potential services

The COVID-19 pandemic results in challenges for the laboratories. The top five most impactful challenges are: shortage of diagnostic tests, a need to validate tests, staff education on new assays, shipping issues and personal safety issues/shortage of protective equipment. (Figure 5)

Most impactful challenges to laboratory following COVID-19

 

51% of respondents indicate their main diagnostics solution provider offers innovative solutions to support in their workflow. When asked what potential services could be offered, respondents highlight higher quality products, advanced technical support and increased test availability. (Figure 6)

Respondents indicating that their main diagnostics solutions supplier offered them innovative solutions related to COVID-19, which enhanced their laboratory's workflow and make it more efficient

Conclusion

Feedback from laboratory profiles indicate that laboratories will be impacted by COVID-19 for at least the remainder of the year. Diagnostics solutions providers have an opportunity to engage with laboratories to overcome their challenges and set up new customer engagement initiatives.  

If you are interested to learn more about this data, please contact Jasper van de Sande, Business Consultant at SUAZIO, j.vandesande@suazio.com, +32470927014

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