At-Home Lab Testing: Understanding a Physician’s POV


A new ixlayer survey shows a growing consensus on the transformative potential of at-home diagnostic testing to revolutionize healthcare accessibility, physician workflow and patient engagement strategies.


Aligning Healthcare: How Physicians Are Embracing At-Home Diagnostic Testing 

Consumerism is becoming the driving force in the healthcare industry, raising the bar on what patients expect from clinical care providers, health plans, and life science companies. Personalization, value, and convenience are now non-negotiable priorities, challenging pharma companies to find creative ways to deliver value and meet consumer expectations of their brands.

From leveraging social media to launching innovative education campaigns, leading members of the life sciences community are getting closer to their audiences than ever in an effort to drive awareness about health concerns and offer new entry points into the care continuum. The benefits of direct connection with patients are many – improving satisfaction, enhancing health equity, reducing burdens on the system, and helping all patients achieve their best possible health.

Recently, at-home diagnostic testing has started to play a significant role in these efforts by giving patients a clear, accessible, and empowering way to learn about their health and start important conversations with their care providers. Pharma companies that integrate at-home testing into their patient engagement efforts have a better chance of building trusted, high-value connections that also reduce care barriers and enhance outcomes.


Understanding a Physician’s POV

Lab tests are critical to earlier diagnosis and lead to better clinical outcomes. While at-home testing has been shown to improve testing rates, these innovative patient-initiated solutions only work to improve clinical outcomes when they serve both sides of the patient-provider relationship. To better understand how physicians are responding to patient-initiated lab testing, ixlayer asked them. In collaboration with the DHC Group and Sermo, ixlayer surveyed more than 140 physicians across multiple specialties nationwide to get their opinions on issues related to the value, convenience, and trustworthiness of at-home diagnostic tests – and the results were overwhelmingly positive. 

A key finding from the survey showed that 83% of physicians believe at-home testing moves patients through a care continuum more quickly. Patient-initiated testing is valuable for helping get patients seen by the right healthcare provider faster than usual. Patients who get diagnosed quicker can get connected with the correct medications earlier in their health journey – and stay on those medications for longer.  In the words of one physician, “Improving patients’ access to these diagnostics would help their management.”


A Game Changer for Access to Care

The benefits of at-home testing are not only seen in the speed of diagnosis and treatment but also in the broader impact on healthcare accessibility. Of the physicians surveyed, 87% agreed that home testing supports patient health by making testing more accessible to populations that may struggle to access diagnostic services.  

As one respondent noted, “There is a large subset of my patients where making routine office visits is difficult, either complicated by age, travel time, costs, or time constraints. So I see having a convenient, at-home solution as a plus for improving medical care.”  Some participants reported that patients with mobility problems or functional limitations may find it easier to take lab tests at home, while others said that all their patients are likely to benefit from increased compliance due to the convenience and ease of access to home-based testing. Our survey revealed that, eighty-four percent believe it’s easy or very easy for patients to work with at-home test kits, and similar numbers think the overall patient experience is positive. 


Reliability and Accuracy Attract Physicians to At-Home Diagnostic Tests

The positive reception of at-home testing among physicians is also driven by the dependability of tests. Two out of three physicians agreed that at-home tests are reliable and that they trust the process of generating results. Physicians understand that the rigor around validating and supporting at-home lab testing is strong. The labs that at-home testing companies use are required to adhere to rigorous quality control requirements and certifications as part of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). The quality control protocols involve regular calibration, sensitivity and specificity evaluations, and batch testing to ensure consistency. 


Patient-Initiated Testing Supports Physician Workflow

In today’s environment of physician burnout, it is essential that technological innovation that supports patients, also aids the physicians who care for them. In our survey, 80% of physicians agree that “at-home diagnostic testing would support or enhance my current workflow.” 

The vast majority indicated a strong desire to integrate consumer-driven testing strategies into their care models, with nine out of ten (91%) reporting they would provide an at-home diagnostic kit to their patients (for cholesterol, lipids, blood glucose, and HbA1c, for example)*. Of note, physicians are eager to receive results quickly electronically, with 84% of physicians saying that it is important for them to have the results of at-home diagnostic testing automatically routed to their office.


Capitalizing on the Momentum to Fully Engage Patients in Their Care

For pharma companies, the survey provides additional evidence that patients and physicians are tightly aligned around the value of expanding access to testing at home – and that pharma’s ongoing efforts to integrate at-home testing into consumer-friendly patient engagement campaigns are certainly heading in the right direction.

Pharma companies can reach more patients, decrease time to diagnosis and better support positive outcomes by integrating a direct-to-patient platform that provides the infrastructure for deploying multimodal testing options, physician communication and connection to care. By connecting the entire ecosystem of diagnostic services, from patient education and customized diagnostic kits to CLIA-certified diagnostic lab testing services,  accessible reporting of results, and access to telehealth, pharma can play an active role in accelerating access to appropriate care.

With both patients and physicians expressing strong approval of using at-home testing to make better and faster healthcare decisions,  pharma companies shouldn’t hesitate to engage patients, inform providers, and get involved in the care process where it can make the greatest difference to positive outcomes.  


CLICK HERE to learn more about how ixlayer works with biopharma leaders to integrate a complete end-to-end, direct-to-patient experience into their marketing campaigns.


Source: ixlayer HCP at-home diagnostic testing attitudes survey, in partnership with The DHC Group and Sermo, April, 2024 n=141

*assuming there was a CPT code for at-home patient testing and assuming there was no cost to your practice

About ixlayer

ixlayer is the only end-to-end, direct-to-patient platform built for biopharma and optimized for patient choice. We help biopharma companies connect with patients from testing to treatment with speed, transparency, control and impact.