Renal Function Tests: Early Disease Identification for Better Management and Outcomes

Renal function tests are common lab tests that are used to evaluate the how the kidneys are working. The set of tests prescribed estimate the rate at which waste is being cleared by the body, known as the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR).

There are essentially four types of tests that can be prescribed to patients to monitor the kidney function, each one looking for specific markers that indicate kidney problems. The first is a urinalysis, which screens the urine for protein and blood, that can be the underlying cause for kidney diseases. This is normally done by inserting a chemically treated dipstick into the sample for results. The second is a serum creatinine test, which examines the buildup of creatinine in the blood. The third is a blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test, that is also used to estimate the amount of waste product is in the blood, which can be an indicator of kidney troubles as well. The fourth is a estimated GFR test that is used to determine how much the kidney is damaged. The apparatus used in these kidney function tests include dipsticks, reagents, and disposables.

Rising Prevalence of CKD

The global economic and social burden of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has been on the rise in recent years, with aging population being most vulnerable to this disease. The rampancy of CKD can be best understood by the current estimates of the same in America, where 15% of adults are expected to be suffering from CKD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The prevalence of CKD globally and the changing lifestyle and dietary habits of people has become one of the main drivers of the renal function test market. Healthcare organizations are also taking up initiatives to increase the public awareness of this disease, to curtail the incidences of CKD. For instance: CDC’s Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative is aimed making people aware of the risks of kidney diseases and early diagnosis of kidney disease. This has also caused a boost in the growth of the renal function test market, with people looking to detect it early in order to manage the illness better.

Microalbumin renal function test is a popular type of kidney function tests offered as a standard around the word, as they continue to be the fastest growing segment in the renal function test market. It is generally used to detect even very small levels of blood protein (albumin) in the urine, used generally for the early detection of kidney damage, especially for people at the risk of developing kidney disease.

Newer Technology for Better Test Results

Technological advances such as computer-assisted interpretation, usage of automated analyzers, and advanced parameter estimation have led to greater process control and better test results. This has been instrumental in identification of specific conditions and diseases for better disease and outcome management.

The pervasive influence of technology on the diagnostics industry in general has also seeped into the renal function test market, as diagnostic tests underpin the entire health care ecosystem. Players in the renal function test market are increasingly focusing on innovation that places consumer awareness of health issues and accuracy in results at the center. The diagnostic industry is becoming increasingly sophisticated with technology being integrated at a rapid pace.

The rapidly developing innovative immunoassays for faster results and diagnosis is increasingly giving doctors more time to intervene, improving the outcome of the illness.  For manufacturers in the renal function test industry, the future is not just about newer assays but also techniques that are specific and more sensitive to be able to gauge a condition to a high degree of certainty.

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