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Clinical laboratories are an integral a part of the healthcare continuum. Clinical laboratories perform tests on specimens from the body that are used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. These can vary from blood tests to genetic analysis. Clinical laboratory services are provided by laboratories located at hospitals and clinics, as well as by independent laboratories.
According to data from “World Population Prospects: the 2017 Revision”, the number of older persons — those aged 60 years or over — is expected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by 2100, rising from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100. Globally, population aged 60 or over is growing faster than all younger age groups.
As the world’s demographics change, healthcare systems around the world will face significant challenges to meet the needs of an aging population. In this context, the clinical laboratory can play an important role by defining proper reference ranges, identifying disease processes early, and aiding in the treatment process.