Since 2020, the number of people going to labs for blood draws or blood tests have significantly dwindled since the ongoing rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not just the mass hysteria and apprehension surrounding the disease, but the enforced isolation that had people re-evaluate their priorities – primarily in the direction of their health.
As a result, more people have opted for at-home testing for secondary samples such as blood, urine, saliva, etc. to save themselves the trip to the hospital and risk further exposure. Patients have also postponed some of their yearly routine tests or other medical care services in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
It is arguable that these changes in approaching healthcare solutions have forced health institutions to push the envelope in terms of adopting new practices and technologies that will allow them to cater to patients who are apprehensive of going into physical clinics. Enter: self-testing.
Coupled with these independent remote testing are the brilliant innovations done in the direction of telehealth, a virtual model of healthcare that supports virtual interactions with patients during the coronavirus pandemic to help reduce disease exposure.
It is a testament to how far the healthcare system has evolved that practically anyone can have unbridled access to a wide range of predictive diagnoses or analyses without ever having to wait the line at the doctor’s, or the labs, or even without meeting any other person at all. If you’re still not sold on the idea, here are a few reasons you might be:
With the concept of remote blood sampling, patients who live far from the main health facilities won’t have to dedicate a day’s trip only to have their blood drawn in under an hour. With advancements in telehealth technologies, it enables physicians to conduct remote patient monitoring through various options such as Zoom, Google Meets, or GoToMeeting as well as the standard emails.
Anyone who has ever waited the line at their local dentist’s office knows how tedious the entire process can be – what’s more for the more demanding health concerns? Being able to conduct your own tests on yourself and take all the time you need is an underrated advantage that comes with self-sampling.
This is a patient experience uniquely yours, making the entire process as painless and stress-free as you want it to be with your hold on the reins. You can collect precise samples of blood at home, minimizing the number of visits needed for healthcare follow-ups if need be.
While some of the pros of at-home laboratory testing are obvious right off the bat, it’s not going to be anyone’s first thought at how personal an interaction it can be with yourself. The hospital has been known to add another layer of apprehension on top of patients who’re already experiencing some degree of anxiousness at even making the trip, but with self-test all those worries are gone. You can have multiple tests without ever leaving your home, making it a very private and self-paced process.
It’s not just patients who are saving themselves from the possibility of exposure, it goes both ways too. Healthcare providers are shelved off the burden of tending to the more bureaucratic but just as necessary part of the treatment process, all the while giving people who may not have the means for hospital care the chance to treat themselves at home first. Companies like Tigeni are providing simple at-home blood collection kits to help reduce the risk of exposure for patients and health workers.
Aside from these advantages, most of the companies issuing at-home kits will also provide patients with the appropriate support or treatment to follow through telemedicine. Testing companies are here to help make medicine more accessible to the average person in a time where health is at utmost risk, so their trustworthiness and accuracy have all been proven to be top-notch. After mailing back your samples, most of these companies will follow up with you right away should any pressing concerns be present in the samples you provided.
Self-testing kits have been around for a long time, it’s only in the past year or so that it’s been heavily encouraged by healthcare institutions. The problem isn’t in its promotion or systematic distribution, it’s in how healthcare professionals can make the whole process a convincing alternative against traditional medicine.