Diabetes testing: huge numbers and growing worldwide

Apart from devices to aid in the administration of insulin, the main types of medical devices used in the management of diabetes are meters for measuring the amount of glucose in blood samples (requiring 0.3 to 1.0 microliter of blood, depending on meter type, from the fingertip), together with lancing devices used to obtain the blood sample and the disposable lancets.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #D510, "Diabetes Management: Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities Worldwide 2009-2018."

Glucose meters have evolved into sophisticated, electronically driven items of equipment which perform a range of calculations based on the glucose levels obtained; they are highly automated, usually incorporate graphic displays, and many models can transmit their data to PCs to be fed into diabetes control software programs. Although the high-end models are expensive, they can have a relatively long working life. Compliance with a standard of testing 3-5 times per day blood glucose testing is widely variable, despite the strong clinical evidence (e.g., the DCCT study) that doing so dramatically reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications.  An upward trend in compliance, combined with continued penetration of the large, undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes population, and the increase in diabetes prevalence ensuing from obesity increases, is underlying the double-digit growth in the market for diabetes testing.

The market in 2010 for blood glucose meters was over $100 million. Adding in lancets ($988 million) and the huge market for test strips ($9.5 billion), the combined market size in 2010 was $10.6 billion.

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