Any facility where testing is conducted could be considered a laboratory; in healthcare there are three types of interest principally to marketers. A clinical or hospital laboratory where patient tests are conducted, a research laboratory where experiments are conducted and compounds may be tested for some kind of significant reaction are tested or discovered, as well as drug research facilities where toxicology and efficacy are tested.
Labs require testing equipment, chemicals and reagents, and a considerable amount of disposable or non-disposable devices and thus create markets of opportunity for equipment makers. Many reports have been authored studying markets for the products these laboratories use.
There are also reports describing them as the markets for the services these labs conduct. While some labs earn business from local hospitals, others are selling services directly. There are small regional labs serving just a few physician offices or hospitals, and large national chains who service many healthcare facilities.