Technology continues to advance and change the way we live our daily lives. One area that has seen significant advancements in recent years is at-home diagnostic testing. It allows individuals to complete a self-collection testing kit in the privacy and comfort of their own homes. This blog post will discuss some of the trends in at-home diagnostic testing that we can expect to see in 2023 and beyond.
Increased Comfort: COVID-19 has changed our relationship with at-home testing significantly, and people have become more comfortable with this concept. According to the American Hospital Association, nearly half of Americans – 133 million people – have a chronic condition that often requires ongoing lab tests, and 60 million more have a chronic condition and don’t even know it. People are increasingly more health conscious and are now looking for solutions to monitor their health remotely.
Improved Accessibility: One of the most significant trends in at-home diagnostic testing is increased accessibility. With the advent of new technologies, it is becoming easier and more affordable for people to access diagnostic tests and complete them in the comfort of their own homes. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of medical decisions depend on lab testing. By making lab tests more accessible, we can improve the accuracy of medical decision making. The problem is that 40% of them go unfilled. By providing great accessibility we help bridge that gap.
Greater Convenience: There is no need to wait weeks to schedule a visit with a provider, take the time off from work to find a lab and then schedule an appointment to get your lab work done. With an at-home test kit, there are easy-to-use step-by-step instructions to collect your sample, the sample is sent back in a prepaid mailing box, and the results are delivered via a user-friendly online portal. This can save time and money, and can be especially beneficial for individuals who have busy schedules or mobility issues.
Expanding Test Types: Another trend in at-home testing is the expanding types of tests available. While in past years at-home testing options were limited to pregnancy and ovulation tests, now there are hundreds of tests available and easily accessible to individuals. From STD, thyroid, diabetes, liver, kidney, food sensitivity, vitamin D and the list goes on.
Telemedicine Integration: With the advent of telemedicine, we are seeing an increased integration of at-home diagnostic testing and virtual consultations in the future. This means that individuals can receive test results and receive medical next steps and guidance from healthcare professionals remotely. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who live in remote or rural areas, and for those who may not be able to physically visit a medical facility.
More often than not, care is delayed not because a member is unwilling but due to a number of external factors: lack of transportation, needed access to childcare, the need to take time off work, etc. At-home testing removes those barriers altogether.
ixlayer’s platform offers a number of sample collection modalities, including an at-home self-collection kit mailed to the member’s home, at-home sample collection assisted by a trained clinician, or the ability for the member to visit a nearby patient service center. The self-collection kits come with easy to follow instructions and kits can be mailed to the lab via pre-paid envelopes. We’ve found that offering multiple collection formats not only meets individuals where they are, but provides them with the convenience they need to take action.
Once the test results have been sent to one of our CLIA certified and CAP accredited labs, individuals can view their results and where they fall within a reference range, additional information about what their results mean, and can even receive a telehealth follow-up if needed.
As the program administrator, you can see status updates, when kits were delivered, see individual and aggregate results and track how many members are engaging with your program in the online admin portal. Having that visibility across the lifespan of the program performance enables you to make better informed decisions, drive compliance and address more gaps in care.
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