Stephen: You mentioned that there may be a shift in the development of assays and collaborations. How do you see the financial piece of the market changing, especially around Point of Care (POC) instruments? In the past, POC has had a lot of promise, but hasn’t seen a lot of traction. Now with COVID, there’s a lot more POC instruments that have been developed with the POC assay on it and they are now out there in the market. Is this the inflection point of acceptance of complex POC out in the marketplace?
Joen: There’s a recognition – not just within but also outside of the IVD industry – of the value of access to diagnostics in locations that are not traditional locations for testing such as going to the physician’s office and sending it off to a central lab or going to the hospital and it’s run there. But rather other facilities, pharmacies and other types of facilities where testing can be done quickly.
People are really seeing the value and the convenience of that. So I think the demand is going to be there. A key aspect is going to be reimbursement, and can those tests be reimbursed at a high enough rate. That’s the thing that’s going to drive implementation.
I think people are starting to realize the importance of bringing diagnostics and those results much closer to individuals and patients. So I think that’s going to naturally drive more platforms coming out. And then I think the evidence of a buildup, that shows the value of doing that. Then those are going to start to achieve a greater reimbursement. Insurance companies are going to start recognizing the value of that and it’s just going to self-perpetuate that that is going to happen.
I mean, the other thing we’ve seen that’s been very helpful for the diagnostic industry, and specifically for POC, is that there has been a lot of investment from government, private industry as well, in new platforms that are coming out.
And if we sort of look back to an earlier time where there was a moment like this, a national emergency that led to development of a diagnostic, we can sort of look back to the GeneXpert from Cepheid that was developed when there was a scare around anthrax. The government supported investment to get a very easy to use and essentially, a POC platform, developed. And then from there, the company was just able to develop new assays, not necessarily related to a national emergency, but actually it was demonstrated to be very valuable in terms of patient management.
And so now we’ve amplified that in this pandemic. A lot of companies that are still struggling, might not actually get a product to market, but certainly there are a lot more platforms that are coming. So the options are going to be much greater. And I think that people are going to sort of will their way to get these platforms into clinical settings where they’ll actually have a meaningful benefit for patient care.
Stephen: Democratizing diagnostics. Right?
Joen: Very much so. Yes.
Stephen: Well, thank you, Joen. If people want to get in touch with you or learn more about MDC, where can they find you?
Joen: You can visit us at our website: mdcassoc.com.
Stephen: Great. And then finally, for 2021, what one word or phrase would you use to describe your outlook?
Joen: Optimistic, for sure.
Stephen: Excellent. Well, that is the Tea. Joen, thanks so much for joining us today. And it’s been a pleasure speaking with you, and it’s great hearing MDC’s views on this new world.