The total lab automation market was valued at USD 4569.3 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 6,672.31 million by 2026, at a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period, 2021 - 2026. The total laboratory automation system performs laboratory testing throughout the system in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Laboratory automation contains computerized lab instruments and gadgets, which give advantages, such as expanded profitability, enhanced work process scope, reduced time cycle, and improved information quality. Lab automation is also vital to handle large volumes of sample tests at a rapid rate.
- For instance, automated liquid handlers have been widely adopted in lab automation, as they drastically reduce the time for processing and minimize the scope for sample contamination by dispensing the dead volumes very efficiently. Liquid handlers work on software controlled by using an integrated system, which customizes the handling procedures with large transfer volumes.
- Tecan, in the recent past, launched a range of advanced liquid handling solutions, along with the new Fluent Gx Automation Workstation, to meet the critical needs of clinical and regulated laboratories. Hamilton, in October 2019, launched its compact Microlab Prep automated liquid handler designed for those transitioning away from manual pipetting using 96- and 384-well microplates and other sample vessels.
- Laboratories are facing pressure to produce faster turnaround time, while also reducing errors to enhance patient care and therefore are using automation and robotics pervasive in clinical laboratories.
- The high-end automation in instruments and modular systems offers an array of features that are extremely user-friendly. Most of these instruments can be integrated with IT to maximize the benefits of laboratory automation, which offer mechanized solutions in each phase of workflow in a lab.
- With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased pressure on the laboratories to increase testing labs' capacity and speed. With the increase in the number of samples being tested every day, the market studied has been witnessing a growth in the developments of automation systems by vendors, which is expected to create opportunities to the studied market's growth.
- Regions, like Europe and Latin America, have witnessed an increase in the demand for high-speed sample processing, thereby, increasing the demand for lab automation.
- A notable use case was identified in June 2020, which involves a Danish pipetting robot, has been automating COVID testing processes in hospitals across Europe. The liquid-handling robot by Flow Robotics, from Denmark has been speeding up the task of analyzing COVID tests. Everyday thousands of tests for COVID-19 are currently being prepared for analysis by the sophisticated flow bot ONE from Flow Robotics.
Key Market Trends
Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) Expected to Have the Largest Market Share
- Laboratory information management system (LIMS) is a software used to manage and aggregate data from samples and automate workflows and manage associated samples. Additionally, LIMS tracks the lots and reagents, which helps in predetermining and understanding the required lab agents and resources.
- LIMS offers various benefits, such as integration with other in-lab systems, enabling smooth functioning and gathering data at a single place. This is propelling market growth significantly.
- The advances in the fields of genomics that deal with molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes generate an unprecedented amount of data, making it imperative for the laboratories to look for the solutions that cater to such needs. This is expected to boost the LIMS market over the forecast period.
- In clinical research applications, LIMS offers flexibility in the configuration of applications. Clinical labs are also tasked with meeting specific regulatory requirements, including those governed by (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) CLIA and CAP in the United States, which relate to the accuracy and reliability of tests. Compliance with CLIA involves following the set of strict standards. LIMS are expected to meet these standards.
- In July 2019, Abbott launched STARLIMS Life Sciences Solution 11.1, a laboratory information management system, to help manage complex sample and testing workflow. It will also help to drive data safety and integrity throughout the entire lifecycle. STARLIMS Life Sciences Solution 11.1 is designed for various applications, such as specialty diagnostics and academic research, pre-clinical, and clinical research, to manage and test clinical samples.
- The increasing market penetration of the cloud-based LIMS, wherein the data can be accessed via multiple devices with grant permission, is expected to foster the market's growth over the forecast period. Hence, various companies are introducing cloud-based LIMS solutions to capture the maximum market share.
North America is Expected to Hold the Largest Share
- North America is anticipated to register a significant share owing to the presence of the United States, a country with significant investments in clinical research. This country is home to some of the major pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, J&J, and Novartis. The country also has the highest concentration of contract research organizations (CROs). Some of the major CROs in the country are Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, IQVIA, Syneos Health, and Parexel International Corp.
- Owing to the presence of all the major players in the industry and stringent FDA regulations, the market is very competitive in the country. In order to gain an advantage over competitors, the companies in the country are increasingly adopting robotics and automation in labs.
- The inclusion of robotics and automation has been a major factor aiding the transformation of the clinical research industry, owing to which more than 108,790 clinical studies were registered in the United States in 2019, according to the ClinicalTrials.gov. Moreover, there has been a significant rise in FDA approvals received in the past years, primarily owing to automation.
- The region has regulatory bodies, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that regulates and monitors all laboratory testing performed on humans in the United States through the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) that covers 260,000 laboratory entities. This represents a potential opportunity for the lab automation providers, which may boost the growth for the market over the forecast period.
- Some of the prominent players in the region are entering strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, in order to boost the technology used for automation, in turn, fueling the demand for lab automation throughout the forecast period.
- For instance, in January 2019, Shimadzu Medical Systems USA announced the acquisition of ORE Medical Imaging Inc.
- Further, the outbreak of the COVID-19 has been augmenting the deployment of market studied. North America has been the largest effected region with the COVID-19 virus. As of July 16, 2020, more than 3.7 million people in the region have been effect with the virus, which accounts nearly 26% of the total effected population in the world.
- On July 9, 2020, more than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections had been reported across the United States. The total represents a slight rise from July 8, when there were 60,000 new cases, and it marks the largest one-day increase by any country, since the pandemic emerged in China last year.
- With such a high rate of increase in the cases, the demand for faster testing of the samples has been increasing. Given these circumstances, vendors who have launched newer solutions are likely to be benefitted, given the increased use in laboratories.
The total lab automation market offers strong competition to the operating players, owing to the presence of some key players in the market, such as Siemens AG, Honeywell, and Schimadzu. Their ability to innovate their offerings has allowed the players to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. Through R&D activities, strategic partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions, these players are able to gain a strong foothold in the market.
- February 2020 - Becton, Dickinson and Company announced that the BD Kiestra ReadA is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This standalone device improves the operational efficiency in clinical microbiology laboratories by automating redundant plate management tasks, while delivering accuracy through standardized digital image acquisition.
- October 2019 - THudson Robotic Inc. announced a new product under its Protean Workcell for automating drug discovery and genomic applications for biotech companies, research, and universities. It is designed to address the issue associated with laboratory space and system software and hardware flexibility.
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