Analytical Reporter January/February 2021

What’s in store for 2021? This is the question on everyone’s mind after the crazy year we have just experienced. While South Africa is in the grips of the second wave of the COVID-19 virus, how are you preparing for 2021?

2020 brought dramatic changes in laboratory-based diagnostics, healthcare, and medicine beyond what anyone could have imagined one year ago. This year, the diagnostic laboratory testing market will continue to experience changes that will bring unique opportunities for both growth and profitability as well as many challenges.

The COVID-19 diagnostic testing segment has already seen a steady increase in the number of tests performed and in the diversity of testing options.

Laboratories will need to continue to invest in technology within the lab as well as in automation that facilitates efficient communication with physicians, patients, and public health agencies. The pandemic has led some laboratories to invest in molecular diagnostics testing platforms, which are likely to expand these platforms this year and beyond to include syndromic infectious disease panels in order to ensure efficient utilisation of those systems over time.

Laboratories will also continue to find a strong market for testing symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19 using high-sensitivity methods such as qPCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP).

These tests will remain in high demand as more people return to work and to travel.

Routine screening of asymptomatic individuals will still be needed for those in assisted living facilities, attending universities and schools, entering presurgical care, and working in high-risk professions.

This year could be a great year for change – hopefully great change! Look forward to interacting with you all this year and here’s wishing you a very prosperous and, above all, healthy 2021!

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    Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za