At-home blood testing may sound like something that belongs in the future, but it’s already here, and it’s growing fast. More and more companies are offering tests you can take at home, directly from your computer or mobile device, with results sent straight to your inbox—no doctor required! There are also many apps you can download onto your phone so you can test whenever you’re feeling ill or just want to keep tabs on your health.
There are a few types of tests that can be performed at home. Perhaps one of the most popular is cholesterol testing. Direct-to-consumer cholesterol tests have been around for years, and are reliable if used properly. While these tests should only be done after consultation with your doctor, they’re easy to use—some even requiring just a pinprick of blood—and provide immediate results that you can take into account when developing your treatment plan. Additional at-home health care includes pregnancy testing kits, which are also DTC available but require women to consult with their OB/GYN before using them; there are also diabetes test kits which include glucose monitors for up to four users.
Many tests, such as those mentioned above, can be done at home with little preparation and no supervision required. Other tests, however, may require specialized equipment and supplies. The test included in our example – a cholesterol test – is very reliable if used properly and does not require any additional equipment or supplies beyond what you’d normally have at home. Your physician can help you decide which at-home tests are right for you.
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Each company has its own process for ordering tests, but many of them include an online order form that asks you which test you want, your health insurance information, and billing details. Before ordering a DTC test, it’s important to know what test you want, whether it’s covered by your insurance plan and how much it will cost. Patients with high deductible plans may find that they are responsible for paying out of pocket for these tests.
After ordering, you will receive a lab requisition form in the mail with instructions on how to collect your blood and urine samples and ship them back. Most tests can be done at home with simple tools like a lancet and test tubes. Some companies offer an optional nurse coaching service where a registered nurse calls you before your testing day to walk you through sample collection and answer any questions you may have.
The first step is usually a visit to your doctor’s office, where you can ask about available tests. In many cases, it’s possible to order a test directly from a company as an alternative to going through your physician. In other cases, you may need a prescription from your doctor before being able to purchase and take an at-home test.
So, if you want to take a test and your doctor isn’t directly involved in ordering it, start by finding out which tests are available and how you can order them. Remember that for most tests, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor or another health care provider before being able to purchase and take an at-home test.
It’s important to note that many direct-to-consumer at-home tests won’t necessarily give you a complete picture of your health. Your healthcare provider will have a more complete understanding of your overall health and can perform additional lab tests or offer guidance if necessary.
If you’re thinking about taking an at-home blood test, check out Lab Me's comprehensive menu of tests. These tests are direct-to-consumer (DTC) in that they can be ordered online and sent directly to your home; no health care professional is involved in recommending or administering these services. Before you start shopping for at-home blood tests, keep in mind that these products aren’t always covered by insurance or Medicare/Medicaid, so it might be wise to consult with a medical professional before making any final decisions. Additionally, some companies require you meet certain eligibility requirements (e.g., having high blood pressure) before they will allow you access to their services.
Another thing to consider is that all at-home diagnostic testing requires a physician's prescription--even if there are no formal restrictions on ordering DTC services. However with Lab Me that is automated for you. When you order, Lab Me's physicians create a digital prescription so you don't need to.
When checking out possible DTC tests, don't forget to review important product information such as cost and estimated turnaround time, but also make sure to read up on answers to common questions like What kind of test strips do I need? or How do I read my results? This way you'll know what happens after placing your order—and what you should expect in terms of customer service options.
Lab Me makes all of the above easy with automated prescriptions, easy-to-understand results, and comprehensive testing options.
The best place to look for an overview of direct-to-consumer (DTC) at-home tests is on Lab Me's website, where you can see how their test compares with other tests in terms of accuracy, precision, etc. Additionally, you can get information about which diseases are covered by each test—like C Reactive Protein (CRP) for example.
Lab Me has a proprietary testing device that is FDA approved. Lab Me is also less expensive than other DTC tests like Let's Get Checked and EverlyWell.
Lab Me provides at-home blood testing for multiple biomarkers, including some major ones like cholesterol, ferritin, and even a CBC test. It also offers more obscure tests like homocysteine—which looks at potential heart attack risk.
At-home blood testing saves a lot of time, hassle, and money in the long run. Although they appear to be more expensive than just going to the doctor's office, they save a considerable amount of money and time by way of convenience. Also, being able to track your blood work through the year is a major upside.
At-home blood testing is good for anyone who wants to gain insights into their health but doesn't have access to medical professionals—such as athletes who travel often and don't want to schedule additional appointments when bloodwork isn't required during these instances. It’s also good for people who just want more control over when they do bloodwork—like individuals living in remote areas without access to regular clinics.
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