NEW YORK, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The blood testing market in China reached 275 million dollars, according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia Group in a recent report. The estimate includes typing, immunoassays and nucleic acid testing. The healthcare research firm said that China had made progress in developing blood collection stations and in improving testing at the provincial level. The finding was made in Kalorama Information's report, Blood Testing Market in China, which utilized information from The Freedonia Group's Beijing office.
The global blood industry represents a diverse assortment of companies, groups and organizations that have evolved over time to provide for the safe collection, testing, storage and delivery of human blood, synthetic blood and blood products for transfusion. The identification of the HIV virus in the mid 1980s led to the 1996 introduction of the first test kit to screen blood for antigens to HIV-1 (the virus that is responsible for the vast majority of U.S. AIDS cases). Three years later, Ortho Pharmaceuticals introduced the first fully automated blood and plasma screening system. China's blood donation drives were challenged in the 1990s when the number of AIDS cases in a central province exploded after unlicensed blood-bank operators used improper methods to collect blood from the region's impoverished farmers. Things have improved since then, though. Many Chinese are incentivized to donate blood through employment, use of healthcare services or even college exams. And the hospital system can limit services to those who donate or to a limited number of times per year.
"Blood banking and testing for blood banking in China has been an evolving process due to insufficient blood banking infrastructure and aversion to blood donation in traditional Chinese culture," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "While blood donation rates have increased in China, and the blood banking process has become more sophisticated, there are challenges."
Blood centers in China are independent from hospitals. Provincial and regional blood centers are similar in terms of facilities and staffing. Provincial blood centers are located in provincial capitals, while regional blood centers are located in other large cities than provincial capitals. County blood centers (center blood bank) are located in county/smaller cities which provincial and regional blood centers do not cover. Qingdao Blood Center (QDBC) is an example of one of the regional centers.It was established in August 1993, which was a partly government-sponsored Institutional Organization directly under Qingdao Municipal Health and Family Planning Commission. QDBC comprises a staff of 234, the majority specialized technical personnel, including 34 at a senior and 121 at an intermediate-level, 4 doctoral students, and 36 post-graduate master students.
Nucleic-acid testing (NAT) has played an important role as the most advanced technology for directly detecting infections in blood. Today, NAT has been adopted in countries around the world, including in the U.S., Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and many countries in Europe and Asia. Commonly used NAT assays detect HIV-1 RNA, HCV RNA, HBV DNA, and West Nile Virus (WNV) RNA. In 2015, China mandated testing using molecular instruments.
"Our research found that considerable progress has been made and that the major provincial blood centers have NAT testing equipment," Carlson said. "There are opportunities for test makers at other levels of the blood banking system in China, and our report details these."
Through the foreseeable future, China will continue to offer one of the fastest growing markets for IVD products, including blood banking tests, even for western-style lab instrumentation and advanced tests outside of the scope of recent public healthcare network expansion. Leading IVD companies have all established themselves in China and are seeking long-term market growth in the country, with significant investments necessary to gain market share and develop products for the domestic market and for international distribution.
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