Blood tests are essential parts of any medical journey. They help doctors with checking for different diseases and other medical conditions. They are also beneficial in showing how well specific treatments are working and checking the functions of your organs. You don’t have to worry about visiting the hospital anymore.
It is now possible to do a home test with a home blood test kit. But are these tests really accurate and validated?
In the times of pandemics, we live in, these “kitchen” blood tests may appear as an ideal way to stay safe and practice social distancing. Avoiding to go to the hospitals reduces the risk of spreading and contracting viruses or other diseases.
What is a home blood test?
A home blood test is a convenient and safe method of completing different diagnostic and preventative health screening tests at the comfort of your home. You can check for various conditions using an at-home blood test kit, including viral and bacterial infections, allergy tests, certain types of cancer, diabetes, cholesterol, vitamins, and anemia.
The key point is not to interpret the results on your own. Fortunately, by sharing the results with your doctor, he will have the possibility to monitor your health.
How to use an at-home blood test?
The main question relates to their ease of use, especially when dealing with blood. For most tests, the process is pretty straightforward:
- Buy the test online and wait a couple of days to receive them,
- Once received, you will be asked to register their unique number to a dedicated website,
- Collecting blood is never easy. Luckily most of the tests come with a lancet and only require a few drops of blood that will need to be applied on a dedicated sample spot or in a collection vial.
- The collection card/vial will then need to be sent to a dedicated and certified laboratory to process the samples and upload the results on your personal dashboard. You will then have the possibility to share them with your doctor.
Even if the whole process is simple, we recommend following the instruction carefully. My personal experience with at-home blood tests, especially when testing for blood thinners, is that it can sometime be tricky.
Even if finger pricking is easy, it can sometimes be a little painful. You may think I have a low pain threshold but pricking your finger is certainly not the most comfortable experience.
Are home blood tests accurate?
A home blood test can be as accurate as a lab test you do in a medical clinic or hospital. When you buy test kits, they come complete with everything you need to collect a blood sample. You get a step-by-step guide to ensure you don’t make any mistakes while collecting the sample.
You can expect to get accurate results to get tested at a hospital if you follow all of the instructions that come with the test kits correctly. This is because all the home blood test kits are processed in CLIA-certified medical laboratories.
Why is it beneficial to do a home blood test?
Blood tests have been a massive part of healthcare monitoring for a long time. However, doing the traditional lab tests at a medical clinic or hospital can be a bit time-consuming and, at the same time, cumbersome. Before the home blood test kits were available, the process of getting a blood lab test was hectic.
First, you have to book an appointment with your healthcare provider, request lab work, and then head over to the lab to provide a blood sample. After providing the sample for the lab test, it’s processed, and the test results are sent to a doctor. Therefore, you have to make another appointment to get the test results. With a home blood test, you avoid all that by doing your tests, and afterward, your results are delivered to you in a few days.
What do you need to consider before buying a home blood test kit?
You can consider the following factors when choosing the best home blood test kit for you.
Certifications and lab safety
It’s vital to get accurate test results for any diagnostic testing. Therefore, ensure the company you’re purchasing from uses FDA-approved tests. The test kits should also be from a company that has a CLIA-certified lab. All the companies should also comply with HIPAA rules to ensure privacy.
You should ensure the test kits you choose are backed with professional support. The company should at least have real-time customer service agents for any questions you might have.
Reputable at-home test kits
The market growth for home blood test kits is expected to grow in the forecast period of 2020 to 2027. The market might reach USD 16.02 billion by 2027, compared to 2019, USD 8.87 billion. There are a couple of excellent companies that offer test kits, including:
With Walk-in-lab, you can get access to different home test kits from different specialty labs. They include kits for allergy and blood spot testing quickly done at home.
EverlyWell offers you convenient health testing at home through simple steps. It arrives in your home. You register the kit, collect your samples, which include dried blood spot samples, send your samples to the lab, and then you can view the results on their secure online platform.
Live Smart offers a full health assessment and will assign what they call a health score. The company is based in the UK and offers tests ranging from 30 to 249 pounds depending on the number of elements to analyze. They go beyond a simple blood test and aims at coaching users to achieve a better lifestyle and health.
At-home blood tests are certainly part of how medicine will be delivered in the future. With telemedicine and remote consultation gradually becoming the norm, it all makes sense that you kitchen will soon become a biology lab.
The key elements ensure that the samples are processed in a fully certified laboratory. The companies offer real customer support and abide by the toughest privacy standard such as HIPAA.