Home testing services have demonstrated their advantages time and time again, most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, home tests enabled millions of people to order both PCR tests and rapid lateral flow tests and formed a critical component of the pandemic response. The benefits of home tests are extensive, but the most obvious ones lie in the rapid and accurate turnaround. In light of this, the availability and demand for other at-home tests, including vitamin deficiency, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and drug tests, has substantially increased.
Vitamin deficiency testing
Vitamin deficiencies are rife amongst the general population, but many people live for years before seeking medical assistance. The rationale for this most likely results from the effort required to book a doctor’s appointment, go for the tests and await the results. Likewise, the time between booking the test and the appointment gives people time to think about the pending blood test, often resulting in a cancellation. Fortunately, in recent years, home tests for vitamin deficiencies have become increasingly popular and shome testave the trip to the doctor and the long waiting times. Popular at-home tests include vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron.
There are several reasons why a nutrient deficiency might arise; increased stress, an unbalanced diet, and undiagnosed metabolic diseases, and the solution for these is often as simple as taking a supplement. However, if these deficiencies are left unchecked, in the long run, they can cause serious health problems. Although most vitamin deficiencies manifest as numerous symptoms, it can be hard to differentiate that a deficiency is a culprit or what vitamin you are deficient in. It is, therefore, advised not to take supplements without knowing what your vitamin status is. This is where home testing comes in.
Home testing requires a blood sample, obtained using a finger prick. The blood is transferred for an analysis to a standard test cassette. In a matter of minutes, you receive your results. Conveniently, in the comfort of your home.
Ordering an STD test from the comfort and privacy of your bedroom is a breakthrough in the healthcare industry, with more people than ever getting themselves regularly tested. These tests can often be uncomfortable (and a little awkward) when done in person, so at-home testing addresses this whilst still providing you with accurate results. What’s more, getting tested in the conventional way is often time-consuming and expensive: home testing provides a more convenient and cost-effective method to look after your health.
At-home STD testing often comprises several components and may include a urine collection, throat or genital swab with a Q-tip, or a blood test. Any test you order will provide extensive instructions on which tests you are expected to do.
Last but certainly not least, we have drug testing. These tests can detect the presence of marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and methamphetamines to name a few. You may be wondering why one would take an at-home drug test but there are many explanations. For example, home testing has become extremely popular among parents of teens and also in schools, offices, and small businesses. Similar to STD testing, at-home drugs tests permit privacy, convenience, and affordability, whilst still providing speedy and accurate results.
Home tests represent the new secret weapon for efficient healthcare, enabling the general population to take charge of their health and bypass the limitations of most healthcare systems. There are numerous lessons that can be learned from the rapid and successful rollout of COVID-19 tests and translated into other home testing applications, including vitamin deficiencies, drugs, and STDs. Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in the number of at-home tests, with many companies now offering an easy-to-order service that mimics that adopted for COVID-19 tests.