Originally Published January 2000
Don't put away those millennial party hats just yet—we've got another reason for you to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
With this issue, IVD Technology marks the beginning of its sixth year as the world's only trade publication devoted exclusively to the development and manufacturing of in vitro diagnostics. To some in the medical device industry, that may sound like a mighty narrow niche. But when one considers the size of the global diagnostics marketplace—variously estimated to be somewhere between $18 billion and $22 billion—suddenly it doesn't seem so small. Even companies in the hotly contested and lucrative field of cardiac management (the next-largest sector of the device industry, at a mere $11 billion) have to respect the power of such a large industry sector.
Even more important than market size, however, is the significant impact that IVDs have on healthcare. The plain fact is that without them modern health systems throughout the world would grind to a screeching halt. In today's environment, no third-party payer would authorize patient treatment unless the physician had already employed appropriate testing as part of the diagnosis—and perhaps further testing to refine that diagnosis. And in the United States, especially, no rational physician would perform treatment without first performing the correct battery of clinical assays.
IVDs provide the solutions not only to medical questions, but to a variety of social issues as well. Do you want to save money and eliminate inappropriate use of therapies? Use an IVD to confirm diagnoses and establish a patient's treatment profile. Do you want to monitor disease status or the effects of therapeutic agents? Use an IVD to track and trend patient condition. Do you want to know in advance what diseases you might be most susceptible to? Use one of the emerging molecular IVDs to establish your pattern of genetic susceptibilities.
Unquestionably, today's IVD industry is already one of healthcare's high-tech fields—and it's becoming more so. One need only look at the index of articles that appeared in the first five years of IVD Technology to get some idea of the wide range of technologies employed or under development by IVD manufacturers. And if analysts are correct, the future of the field will continue to be one of rapidly advancing technological growth on a background of heated competition.
It has been a challenge and a pleasure for IVD Technology to keep track of this field over the past five years. But we could not have done so without the extraordinary assistance of many in industry, including the members of our editorial advisory board and reader board as well as those who have served as authors, reviewers, and news sources. Each of these contributors has a share in the success of our publication, and each deserves our thanks and congratulations for a job well done.
So, we saved some confetti and a few party favors to commemorate the completion of our fifth year, with thanks to all who made them possible. And now, with your continued help, it's onward to the next five years!