Glucose Tolerance Test: Homecare Segment to Flourish as Convenience Play a Major Role

Published On: January 2018

A glucose tolerance test measures how well a body’s cells is capable to engross glucose, or sugar, after a patient consume a given amount of sugar. Doctors and specialists use fasting blood sugar levels and haemoglobin A1c values to identify type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and pre-diabetes whereas a glucose tolerance test can also be used. Doctors primarily use a glucose tolerance test to diagnose gestational diabetes in patients.

Further Obesity directly contributes to the risk for diabetes. According to 2016 WHO report, more than 1.9 billion adults, were overweight and of these over 650 million were obese. In North American and Europe rate of obesity is highest among lower-income population, who live in urban areas are littered with fast-food outlets. In the Asia-Pacific region, obesity is highly prevalent in urban residents and then in rural areas and urban slums. Obesity is caused due to diet imbalance, Genetics etc. are leading to various risk factors for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems. Risk factors of diabetes and high blood pressure are increasing steadily with rise in prevalence of obesity. Thus the increasing prevalence of obesity globally, offers a great opportunity for the growth of the global glucose tolerance test market. 

Technologically advanced products in the pipeline

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other government bodies are establishing a new standard for glucose tolerance test accuracy. The FDA standard is majorly driven by technological advances, improved meter accuracy, reports of hospital and outpatient deaths, research studies, and consumer complaints about product. Due to increasing incidence rate of diabetes, competition among blood glucose monitor manufacturers is also rising. Existing and new marketers are continuously coming up with innovative products to meet the proposed FDA guidelines. In recent years various new glucose monitoring devices have been approved by FDA and European regulatory bodies such as DexCom G4 Platinum, Medtronic Diabetes Guardian Real-Time, Abbott Freestyle Libre, GMate Smart Blood Glucose Monitoring System by Philosys, Artificial pancreas system, and many others. Thus, development of new devices may emerge as the new revenue pockets for the growth of this market.

Where is the market heading to?

Currently, market of glucose tolerance test is showing healthy growth owing to the involvement of companies for introducing better and effective treatment. Also many government bodies are also increase the spending on diabetes and research for getting better results. Prevalence of diabetes is growing at an alarming rate worldwide. Epidemic of obesity, socioeconomic transitions, nutrition transitions, and rapid urbanization are promoting the rising prevalence of diabetes. Over the past decade, prevalence of diabetes has risen faster in low & middle income countries. As per the National Diabetes Statistics Report suggested by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is found that 9.4% of the U.S. population i.e. 30.3 million people had diabetes in 2015, further According to WHO, 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes worldwide.

In recent years, the glucose tolerance test market has witnessed a tremendous growth. The major propelling factors behind such rapid diversification are rising prevalence of diabetes worldwide, increasing government healthcare expenditure, rising approval from government bodies, rising awareness and screening for Diabetes Mellitus, and rise in research funding in diabetes diagnosis and treatment.

Across the globe, health systems are developing in response to multiple factors such as new medical technology, new health services, changes in health policies, new organizational structures, innovations in drug development, and greater access to health services.

According to the WHO, Diabetes and its related complications lead to the substantial economic loss to diabetic people and to national economies through loss of work and wages, and direct medical costs. Whereas hospital and outpatient care are the major cost drivers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that the Per capita national health expenditures in 2015 was amounted to be USD 9,990 and total national health expenditure was USD 3.2 trillion. It is also reported that out of total national health expenditures in the US, prescription drugs 10.1% share. According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million Americans are dealing with diabetes and every 21 seconds one person is diagnosed with diabetes.

According to the data suggested by Eurostat, it is observed that among the EU Member States, the highest value of healthcare expenditure was recorded in Germany in 2014 i.e. EUR 321 billion which is further followed by France with EUR 237 billion, and United Kingdom with EUR 223 billion.

Despite the great economic development in the Asia-Pacific region, some part of the region are facing inadequate health expenditure due to unequal distribution of resources. According to the findings published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, the South East Asia Region was having lowest mean health expenditure per person with diabetes in 2014 which is approximately 87% lower than the world average.

Diabetes is also found to be very prevalent in Middle East region. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Egypt is listed among the world top 10 countries with the higher number of diabetic patients in 2015. It is also estimated that the number of diabetic patients in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region will grow by 96% from year 2013 to 2035 i.e., from 34.6 million to 67.9 million. Despite the higher prevalence of diabetes in Egypt, the spending on diabetes among the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the lowest i.e. USD 116 per patient per year, reported by IDF. This is much lower than the developed countries which ranges from USD2000 to USD7000 per patient per year. 

Who has the ability to hinder the market growth?

Stringent reimbursement and insurance policies in developing nations, can hamper the market growth in coming future and High cost associated with diagnosis and treatment of diabetes are some of the major factors hindering the growth of the global glucose tolerance test market

Then, what’s the future?

It is observed that the demand for better treatment is high from the developing nations of Asia Pacific such as India, China, and other owing to increasing awareness regarding healthcare, government support to improve the infrastructure of healthcare in their countries, and changing lifestyle. Additionally, increasing prevalence of diabetes and huge diabetic population may boost the growth of the Asia Pacific glucose tolerance test market.