Friday, October 28, 2011

DNA Microarrays Labs Find Use But Resist New Purchases

Our Linked In site discusses the  changing use of DNA microarrays by labs.  Only a small percentage of labs will continue to purchase these systems. 

What do vendors do when customers using a product don't plan to use it much longer? In the case of   DNA Microarrays it means vendors must adapt, sell consumables, and take advantage of the installed base of market new products.

While labs are getting use out of DNA microarrays, in the future they plan to make changes. Kalorama's most recent survey of labs 'DNA Micorarray Trends' found that labs using DNA Microarray for gene expresson profiling, SNP genotyping and other tasks will for the most part keep their existing systems and not upgrade. When they do get a budget for purchasing in many cases tasks performed by the microarray system will be shifted to some of the powerful next generation sequencing products.

Our survey found that only about 10% of labs have plans to replace their microarray system and that it was more common for upgraders to desire a sequencer rather than a microarray system. Vendors have caught on. Companies have been offering trade-ins or also making hybrid systems capable of both running microarrays and sequencing.

In this, our analyst Justin Saeks sees a slight advantage for Illumina. See our Linked In site for more of the insights discovered in this DNA Microarray lab survey conducted by Kalorama Information analyst Justin Saeks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Mega Test Service Company in the Works?

Rumors of a Quest-LabCorp merger abound now that the CEO of Quest has resigned.   Although highly competitive in the low-growth standardized testing area,  Quest was hurrying to add new specialty test products to its portfolio to boost profits. 

Clinical lab services is a market with two large players (in the US) but then a fairly broad range of little competitors.  Often in such a market scenario that would mean that a few of the smaller competitors will gain market share, enter the top positions and the market will evolve.  In lab testing, there is still a strong regional element.  And the growth is in specialty molecular tests and in situ hybridization tests that require special knowledge, which allows niche players to thrive.  This means there might be a broad group of competitors for some time. 

Thus even though Quest and LabCorp are the largest, they still may need to join up in order to manage the threat from the many competitors offering speciality solutions. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Will Healthcare Be Ready For New Patients...One Early Indication

As this article in American Medical Association's journal  highlights, one indication of whether the healthcare system is ready for the expected flood of new patients with insurance is the twenty-somethings on their parent's plans who are the immediate result of the legislation's passage.  They are not a perfect indicator because younger age obviously has an impact on health.  But, as this article indicates, there could be as many as 600,000 new insured patients in America and physicians must be ready for the surge.

Our report on Healthcare reform called 'Winners and Losers' highlighted the effect on primary care physicians that the legislation would have.  They unfortunately were not seen as winners from the legislation.  Because they are capitated and in many cases maxed out as to the nubmer of patients they could see, the increase in patients was a general negative for this group.  It could be a positive for RNs and PAs, in states that encourage the practicies of these professionals.