Companies in this industry provide analysis and diagnostic services by examining body fluids and producing images of the body for medical professionals and patients. Major companies include Alliance HealthCare Services, LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, and RadNet (all based in the US), as well as Biomnis (France), LifeLabs (Canada), and Sonic Healthcare (Australia).
As access to health care expands around the world, the need for diagnostic and research laboratory services will also increase. Growth in the industry is impacted by aging populations and rising demand for preventive care and personalized medical treatments.
The commercial medical and diagnostic laboratory industry in the US consists of about 13,500 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $50 billion. Medical labs account for about 60% of industry revenue; imaging centers account for 40%.
Demand is linked to the number of people receiving medical treatment. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and good marketing. There are large economies of scale in the operation of medical labs, which can receive samples from a wide geographical area. Small medical labs can compete effectively by providing specialized analyses, or by serving geographical regions with few medical facilities. Imaging centers don't have similar economies of scale because they must be located close to patients, so small firms can compete effectively with large ones in a particular area.
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