The Future of At-Home Health Tests
Do-it-yourself pregnancy tests first came on the scene more than 30 years ago. Since then, home testing kits have evolved to cover more than just pregnancy and have gotten a lot more effective. Consumers can find at-home tests for everything from STI diagnostics to genetics testing.
The future of at-home health testing is an exciting one. What new trends will the world see in a rapidly evolving healthcare scene? Here are some of the things consumers can look forward to as at-home tests continue to improve.
Getting certain health checks, like STI testing, can seem embarrassing, even though STIs are ubiquitous. Diagnosing these infections and other illnesses at home offers an unprecedented level of privacy and comfort. No matter how nice your doctor’s waiting room is, nothing beats the comfort of your own living room.
Order a test to your home, and administer it to yourself. You’ll need to send some of these tests back to the lab. However, some tests will have instant results, much like a modern pregnancy test. Either way, patient information is private and won’t be compromised just because you’re the one sending things to the lab.
You might have privacy concerns if your test has a digital aspect. However, a secured network and device should be more than enough to protect your information.
Making a trip to the doctor can be difficult for some families in rural areas or small towns. Some people go their entire lives without getting a diagnosis for an illness. An undiagnosed illness can become increasingly debilitating or even fatal. Thankfully, at-home health tests may increase the accessibility of healthcare to people all over the world.
For example, organizations like the Red Cross might have difficulties sending physicians to some communities with high infection rates. The Red Cross can much more easily distribute a handheld test. Monetary contributions may even go a lot further in aiding afflicted countries. Imagine if at-home testing was a possibility at the peak of Covid-19.
At-home tests will also become over-the-counter solutions for consumers. Just like a pregnancy test, you won’t need a prescription to purchase a test for yourself. They could even be included in grocery pick-ups and deliveries.
The sooner you get test results, the faster you can get treatment. In some extreme cases, even a few extra hours’ notices can make a difference. A quick result also offers less anxiety in the long run since waiting can cause so much stress.
Think about the last time you or a loved one went in for testing. You were likely told that results might not come back for a week. Those seven days may have been some of the longest of your life. Regardless of the diagnosis, the shorter the wait time, the better.
As at-home tests become more common, expect to see companies strive for instant results. It’ll be the best way to get a leg up on competitors. Hopefully, the instant diagnosis will mean that everyone has a shot at better health in the future.
At-home tests may be new and revolutionary, but there’s no reason why they can’t be a cost-effective healthcare solution. There’s no need for a pricey trip to the doctor’s office for a run-of-the-mill test. Overall, these tests should make the system more efficient. Plus, competition should keep prices down as at-home test companies try to get a larger share of the market.
America is the world’s poster child for overly expensive healthcare. This is a country that provides excellent care if you can afford it. Many citizens can’t get the medical support they need because of high premiums, deductibles, and hospital bills. A test at home might mean that people can skip an expensive trip to the ER or local clinic.
Discovering an illness early can also reduce the cost of treatment overall. For example, if someone learns that they’re prediabetic sooner, they can make lifestyle and dietary changes. These changes might prevent them from becoming diabetic. This is great for a person’s health and wallet since diabetes carries a heftier price than making lifestyle changes.
As testing comes home with you, expect to see these tests gaining access through your devices. Your smartphone is a convenient way to receive notifications and track health updates. Test results can also be sent directly to your doctor on their smart device or patient portal software.
Also, imagine if you had an app that could perform a diagnostic test for you. It won’t be long before smartphones can take vitals such as your temperature. Smartwatches can already track your heart rate. They have even spotted irregularities that saved lives.
Addressing Covid-19 might require new forms of testing and smart connectivity. For example, say you’re vaccinated and want to start traveling again. To take flights and travel internationally, you’re required to show a negative Covid-19 test. Smart device testing would make traveling much simpler. Communicating negative tests with the airlines via a smartphone would also streamline the process.
Have you tried telehealth yet? If not, you may want to consider a telehealth appointment. There is a range of medical tests that the patient at home can administer. However, some results need to be confirmed or interpreted by a medical professional. This will be especially true as at-home tests become more complex and cover a large variety of diseases.
In the telehealth model, a doctor’s appointment can be scheduled and performed entirely online. You can use a smart device, like an iPhone or a laptop.
This type of healthcare became popular during the pandemic. Many patients wanted to consult their doctors without risking infection. Telehealth prevents people from catching illnesses in the waiting room. Plus, patients can more easily keep in touch with their doctors and health providers.
Keep your eyes peeled for new, efficient at-home tests. They’ll be gracing both in-person and virtual store shelves. Healthcare changes are on the horizon. The shift to at-home testing should be one of the greatest modern developments in the healthcare industry. Lack of accessible and affordable healthcare will no longer stand in the way of public health.