New technologies are usually first shown in behemoth machines that may take up entire rooms, simply to be miniaturized as the technology evolves.
We have witnessed this change during the last 70 years in computers, along with an analogous tendency is currently underway in health care.
Startups across the world are changing capabilities which were once relegated to specialty labs using big, expensive capital equipment and highly skilled technicians. For instance, in the early 2000s, Celera Genomics used nearly 300 DNA sequencers and 7,000 processors and cost almost $100 million to finish the sequence of one human genome. Today, an entire human genome can be run on a desktop computer for less than $1,000. Past DNA sequencing, fresh companies focusing on everything from flu to strokes are moving on the technology, earnings and information in a few centralized companies to the doctors and patients who need it the most.
The advantages of the technologies are many. Disaggregating analyzing from big centralized labs to the clinic or the home will broadly lower costs, enhance patient outcomes and provide better overall access to care. Historically, the capital and operational costs of this massive equipment have needed centralized facilities to be amortized over several samples.
This business can now benefit from the price reductions enabled by the mass production of consumer electronics. Optics, microfluidics, and electronics are almost an order of magnitude less expensive than just a decade ago. Along with novel chemistry and smarter applications, these tests are in cost parity or greater than their centralized counterparts.
PreDxion Bio believes that it has a blood test which could cut down on deaths in emergency areas. The group states that previous blood tests often took more than three days to return and about half a million people die per year due to the delays. They have assembled a test that can help doctors gain insight into inflammatory biomarkers, which makes it simpler to deal with things like injury and burns. The startup is beginning clinical trials this autumn at UCSF, Mayo Clinic and Mount Sinai doctors.
Past the expenses of these tests, the prices connected with hospital-based diagnostics have grown exponentially and several labs are overloaded with patient samples. Extra costs because of factors like hospital administration and insurance may quickly overtake the expense of a test. In-clinic and in-home tests remove the overhead attributed to hospital operation, substantially reducing the total cost of diagnostics. These tests also improve the availability, since they remove the time for staff or equipment.
It is well reported that a quick and accurate identification is critical for ensuring patient outcomes across a wide variety of ailments. Quicker identification enables the proper rapid treatment minimizes hospitalization rates and lowers the over-prescription of antibiotics. By bringing these resources to the bedside and reducing time to diagnosis from days to minutes, the standard of individual outcomes increase.
In-clinic and at home evaluations provide a lot of data for both providers and patients. Conventional diagnostics create one data point, while dispersed tests allow time series data which may help to monitor trends. This type of information is imperative to catch conditions in their earliest stages when they're likely to be treated and treated properly. Leveraging this information to track behaviors, therapies, and outcomes can have an important effect on how healthcare is delivered. There is also additional startup opportunities to accumulate, analyze and act on this information.
These evaluations, however, aren't without their challenges. They can be costly to develop and reevaluate, they might require changes to clinical workflows and there's strong competition from market incumbents. Additionally, although these tests could be smaller and less costly, they continue to be held precisely the same rigorous standards by the FDA and other regulatory agencies. Even the 510(k) pathway provides a less cumbersome to pass regulatory scrutiny in relation to a new curative, but still need important resources.
The basic driver of the adoption of the technologies, though, will be an optimization of economics for suppliers. By offering an in-clinic diagnostic test, the provider can charge the entire price of that test, rather than having to outsource it to some centralized lab. Telemedicine was diminished by the absence of definitive tests available to patients in the home. Nevertheless, an over the counter influenza evaluation can enable a telemedicine business to charge for a diagnostic and therapeutic visit while the provider is still 1,000s of miles apart. Each of these attributes provides increase economic benefit to both the patient and the provider.
The change from large, centralized testing centers, to in-clinic and at-home evaluations have started. These evaluations offer a heightened quality of care while decreasing the expenses incurred across the value-chain. Their adoption is unavoidable. Substantial investment is still required to develop these evaluations to a price and performance suitable to the medical system and there are lots of sources of financing currently supporting these innovations. Many entrepreneurs have identified opportunities to create meaningful impacts on society and entire generations to come will live longer, healthier lives for this.