Sensitivity problems with rapid antigen tests are also helping the more accurate rapid molecular tests gain wider acceptance, manufacturers said.
The immunoassay allows for the rapid detection of influenza types A and B antigens directly in nasal swab and nasopharyngeal swab specimens from symptomatic patients.
The molecular test can provide results in 30 minutes from nasal swabs on a palm-sized instrument.
In Life Sciences, CEO Thomas Joyce noted a strong performance by Beckman Coulter, while in Diagnostics, he said Cepheid grew 25 percent year over year.
Abbott's CFO said he expects mid-single-digit growth from diagnostics in Q1 2018 and mid-to-high single digit growth for the full year.
The first available test on the PCR-based Accula platform will be for the diagnosis of influenza A and B virus infection.
The company's microchip-based technology will detect viral and bacterial genetic material using both isothermal amplification and electrochemical measurements.
The three firms each had 510(k) clearances for multiple products from the FDA last month for marketing.
The new instrument has higher throughput than competing systems, while the flu test boasts enhanced sensitivity and protection against seasonal drift.
The Xpert Xpress Flu can detect both influenza A and B virus in 20 minutes from either nasopharyngeal or nasal swabs.