Newborn screening has evolved from a simple urine or blood screening test to a more comprehensive and complex screening system capable of detecting over 50 different conditions. Newborn screening tests measure a number of markers in infant’s blood that can be either decreased or increased if an infant has certain diseases. Currently, conditions such as cystic fibrosis (CF), congenital hypothyroidism, phenylketonuria (PKU), and around 22 other metabolic conditions that affect protein or fat metabolism can be diagnosed through newborn screening tests.
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Demand for newborn screening is increasing in order to tackle various infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, polio, tuberculosis, rubella, influenza, whooping cough, chickenpox, malaria, and streptococcal pharyngitis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2018, globally, around 86% of infants are vaccinated against 26 diseases, however, 19.5 million infants are unvaccinated resulting in death of 2-3 million children every year.
Screening of newborn is rapidly gaining traction in Asia Pacific region, owing to highest birth rate in the region, which is almost half of the global population. Therefore, countries in Asia Pacific are focusing on arranging various workshops to discuss and find solutions for increasing incidence of neonatal diseases. For instance, from March 30–April 1, 2008, PerkinElmer, Inc. arranged a workshop on consolidating newborn screening efforts in Cebu, Philippines, in Asia Pacific region. From June 4-5 in 2010, PerkinElmer, Inc. arranged another workshop in Manila, Philippines, which included workshop participants such as service providers, policy-makers, consumer advocates, and researchers from 11 different countries.
Moreover, technological advancements in tandem mass spectrometry, colorimetric analysis test, fluorescence analysis test, enzyme or liquid chromatography, and various immunological assays and other analysis and high adoption rate of newborn screening with new technology are factors that are expected to drive growth of the market. In October 2018, LifeCell International, India’s leading stem cell bank and mother & baby diagnostics company, launched RightStart, the world’s first Integrated DNA testing for newborn screening to detect over 50 medical conditions.
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