Impact of COVID-19 on Blood Lancet in Healthcare Industry
The first case of the COVID-19 pandemic was found in Wuhan, China. This pandemic has influenced the whole planet with its significant impacts on the economy and businesses worldwide. The COVID-19 spread worldwide in unprecedented ways due to its high infectious and contagious nature. As a result, the most outstanding medical challenge in the 21st century is yet to face physicians worldwide. Though the emergence of the virus can be tracked back to Asia, many European countries and the U.S. have been struck massively by the pandemic. The virus has spread across all regions ranging from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa up to South America. The COVID- 19 has been declared a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) due to its increased spread globally. After the pandemic declaration, various countries announced the complete lockdown such as the Russia, Europe and Asian countries, to decrease its spread. Regardless of the pandemic of COVID-19, the demand for blood lancets has increased in healthcare applications. Blood lancets are scalpel-type medical instruments with a double-edged blade used for various diseases for blood diagnosis procedures in hospitals, clinics and the home healthcare arena. According to the situation report of 11th May 2021 by World Health Organization (WHO) stated 157 million cases of coronavirus patients had been reported globally and 3.3 million patients are dead due to the coronavirus. America is leading in cumulative cases with a record of 64 million and 1.5 million death rates. At the same time, nearly 1.45 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally. The outbreak of COVID-19 has a significant impact on the healthcare and supply chain of various medical devices and kits, including blood lancets.
IMPACT ON DEMAND
The COVID-19 pandemic has lifted the blood lancet market from its niche pedestal to the mainstream sector. However, even before the pandemic, blood lancets' demand was highly interested in rising chronic diseases such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and more.
· As per World Health Organization's (WHO) report released on 13th April 2021, the diabetes cases raised from 108 million to 422 million from 1980 to 2014, specifically higher in middle and low-income countries.
· In 2019, 1.5 million death rates were directly estimated for diabetes.
The rising research and technologies in the medical sector have made various types of blood lancets invade specific applications. These lancets are disposable, which surges its application for pain-free and safe blood diagnosis. This also minimizes the risk of blood transfusion and infection transmissions. The coronavirus pandemic has further increased the demand for blood lancets since COVID-19 can also be diagnosed using a blood test.
· As per the 14th September 2020 published report of the U.K. Government, their coronavirus antibody test kits are delivered home for simple blood sample tests. The limited amount of blood can be drawn using finger-prick disposable blood lancets and provided to labs for 3-7 days results.
In the current scenario, coronavirus's rising transmission rate has made homecare and self-diagnosis kits and procedures highly prevailing in the market. Due to its disposable nature, painless and easy usability blood lancets are highly preferred by healthcare professionals in chronic infection diagnosis. Several companies operating in other domains are eager to enter. Some have already entered the landscape of the blood lancet market to increase their revenue by meeting the emergent need of diagnosis kits and blood tests for the virus infection. The demand is further rising in local clinics and small laboratories for blood sugar and lipid testing. Furthermore, the coronavirus lockdown and lack of hospital admissions for other chronic diseases as diabetes have boosted self-monitoring diagnostic procedures among patients. Since blood lancets an ideal device for self-diagnosis, this has increased the market demand to a greater extend.
The rising geriatric population and obese individuals, because of unsanitary food habits and lack of physical exercise, have increased chronic illness cases as diabetes on hype. The life-threatening diseases are compelled to be maintained and treated often, which raises the diagnosis requirements globally. Therefore, the affirmative factors boost the demand for blood lancets among patients.
The COVID-19 had a devastating impact on the global economy. The several establishments have to remain shut while others scale down the operations or put on hold expansion plans as they tried to survive the unprecedented crisis. However, the demand for blood lancets has been rising because of the increasing prevalence of diabetes patients and their routine self-care diagnostic management. Despite lockdowns and supply disruption crises during this pandemic, the companies manage online sales and delivery of blood lancets without the mandatory requirement of prescriptions. They are also maintaining fair prices owing to the high demand for blood lancets in the market.
· Ever Ready First aid twist cap blood lancets of 500 counts per package costs USD 10.00, which is delivered home with high safety precautions.
· Apollo Pharmacy provides home delivery for blood lancets conveniently considering the product under the counter category.
The COVID-19 impact has not affected the price of blood lancets at a high level because of advanced online sales and innovative delivery options available with the utmost safety concerns.
IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN
The COVID-19 has created a significant impact on the supply chain of the blood lancet market. The sudden attack of COVID-19 and its subsequent implications for restrictions on trade and movement of goods has resulted in a shutdown of vast countries globally, resulting in disrupted supply chains due to limited materials and workforce and slow down or stopping of manufacturing. Moreover, several manufacturing companies are retooling priority manufacturing to produce other essential medical supplies and equipment such as ventilators. But since the blood lancets are in high demand by various healthcare sectors, the supply chain is again gaining speed due to an increase in order from the consumers. The government allows the moments of transport vehicles to import and export the raw materials to produce lancets. Additionally, the manufacturers are also taking crucial steps to ensure the availability of raw materials by and also they have to look into the quality of products. Therefore, manufacturers need to take necessary steps about production processes, shifting to other facilities if required, changes in quality assurance, costs and procedures related to screening workforce and offering of care if needed, changes in working hours and others to maintain their supply chain.
To minimize supply chain crises, the government has been firmly monitoring the supply chain to assume that the COVID-19 outbreak may adversely impact the supply chain of a medical product, including shortages of blood lancets for various healthcare sectors countries globally or potential disruptions in supply chains.
To manage such a crucial situation, many organizations are looking forward to improving and diversifying the supply chain model in all aspects.
· Roche Diabetes Care has taken initiatives for uninterrupted Accu-Chek diabetes test kits and lancet products supply during this health crisis of COVID-19 lockdowns. They are supplying homes with their diabetes self-management lancets and lancing devices with online booking and free delivery without the requirement of prescriptions.
· They have also reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted their supply because of the robust manufacturing facility and evolving solutions.
The resulting COVID-19 pandemic has shown the various ways for supply chain management, which may be effective by innovative solutions initiated by the market players.
The impact of the novel COVID-19 virus is expected to leave a long-lasting effect on each healthcare sector. The outbreak of COVID-19 prompted citizens to deal with confusion regarding the virus and its management. The virus poses a risk to human life and has caused economic distress and severe emotional strain. In addition, it produced a ripple effect that gave rise to a new collection of requirements and needs that were not much needed earlier and the essential one being the blood lancets which is highly required in hospitals, clinics, labs and home healthcare setups.
It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was having a positive impact on the growth of the blood lancet market owing to the requirement of self-diagnosis and management by numerous diabetic patients worldwide. Moreover, many international governments, including the U.S, Europe and Asia's healthcare organizations, have supported the supply of blood lancets and other diagnostic kits in the medical and home healthcare arena due to high priority and essential requirements for a crucial health crisis period. Many government bodies and significant market players are closely associated with chronic patients and healthcare professionals for better home care and self-diagnosis, considering the contagious nature of the virus and improvement of future economics with disposable blood lancets.