The COVID-19 pandemic has further spurred the growth of telemedicine. Many of the most common tests can now be taken at home. This is not only more convenient, but it enables you to get the results you need faster.
Here’s what you need to know about taking medical tests from the comfort of your own home.
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Types of at Home Tests
Over the counter at home tests are perhaps the most common form of self-tests. Tests like rapid COVID-19 tests and pregnancy tests can all be taken at home. Detailed instructions come with the kit and results are usually provided in less than one hour. You will also receive instructions on how to interpret your results and any next steps you need to take.
The other type of home test is known as a self-collection test. You can order the testing kit directly from home and take a sample. You will then submit your sample to a designated laboratory, which will then analyze your results.
In most cases, results are provided electronically. Examples of self-collection tests include RT-PCR COVID-19 tests, genetic testing, and STI tests.
Reasons to Use at Home Tests
There are several reasons people decide to use at-home tests including:
- Hate going to the doctor’s office.
- No time to go to the doctor’s office.
- Want to get results anonymously.
- Cheaper for those who don’t have health insurance.
The home testing boom started in the 1970s with home pregnancy kits. Now you can test for a wide variety of illnesses and ailments.
Advantages and Disadvantages of At Home Tests
Like any type of home testing, there are advantages and disadvantages to selecting this option. Before deciding whether to schedule an appointment with your physician or pay for a home testing kit, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option.
Advantages of At Home Tests
- Convenience – You’re free to take your test whenever you have the time. There are no set appointments, which can be especially important if you have a busy schedule.
- Avoid a Doctor’s Visit – Many people are nervous about visiting a doctor’s office. Plus, it can be difficult to secure an appointment at busy practices unless you have a genuine medical emergency.
- Upfront Costs – When you attend a doctor’s appointment, it’s not always obvious what you will be expected to pay. With a home testing kit, you know the cost upfront.
Disadvantages of At Home Tests
- Reliability – A home testing kit is not as reliable as a test administered in the presence of a qualified medical professional. Detailed instructions are designed to prevent this problem, though.
- Sample Collection Errors – Unless you take the required sample in a precise manner, you run the risk of receiving false positives or false negatives.
- Insurance Coverage – Check your health insurance policy before ordering a home test. Not every provider covers home testing kits.
Tips for Taking at Home Tests
Are you taking a home test for the first time?
Regardless of the type of test, it can be unnerving to attempt to carry out a test that you would normally expect a doctor to manage on your behalf. Follow these tips to ensure an accurate, convenient testing experience.
Check the Expiration Date
The first step is to check the expiration date. Tests that have expired will typically be ineffective because the chemicals within the test will have lost their potency. Dispose of expired tests immediately.
Read the Instructions Before Taking the Test
While most home tests are designed to be simple to administer, it remains important to read and understand each step in the testing process. Failing to do so could lead to a false positive or negative.
Hydration is important, particularly when performing a saliva test. Make sure you drink enough water before your test. Experts recommend drinking fluids only up to ten minutes before performing the test.
Eating and drinking anything within minutes of your test could interfere with the results. Refrain from consuming anything 30 minutes before your test.
Take the Results Seriously
Finally, make sure that you take the results seriously. While critics often point out the errors inherent within home testing kits, they are an excellent indicator that you may need more advanced testing or a visit to your doctor.
Don’t ignore the results and take action immediately upon receiving your results.
Legit at Home Testing Companies
The home testing industry has little regulation and most of them exist only in cyberspace. Do your research before spending your money on any type of home test.
Here are three legit testing companies that offer trustworthy, cost-effective home tests.
NutriSense provides you with a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) that allows you to track & analyze your blood glucose levels around the clock in real-time. You can deep dive to see exactly what is impacting your glucose levels (i.e food, sleep, exercise, and stress).
To see if you qualify you’ll just need to take a quick quiz here.
This product is ideal for those who are health/nutrition conscious, are trying to reach a target weight, or just want to improve their habits in general.
Use the NutriSense code VICTORIA25 to receive $25 off one of their monthly plans if you want expert advice from dieticians.
Are you pregnant and want to know the gender of your baby?
Sneak Peak Test offers a baby gender predictor with a 99.9% accuracy rate. More than 500,000 moms have used this company to find out the genders of their unborn children.
Paloma Health specializes in helping people to diagnose, treat, and monitor hypothyroidism. They offer thyroid blood tests at home that are pain-free and simple to administer. Send your blood sample to their CLIA/CAP laboratory and wait for the results. Shipping both ways is free.
They also offer online personalized treatment plans if you test positive for hypothyroidism, which makes this company an end-to-end treatment option for people with the condition.
Use the Paloma Health discount code GIVEAWAYS4MOM to get a discount on your test.
Read Also: Paloma Health Review
Let’s Get Checked is a comprehensive home testing provider covering wellness, sexual health, as well as specific men’s and women’s health issues. They offer more than 30 different types of home tests for STIs, pregnancy, thyroid, kidney, and cholesterol tests.
Using their network of accredited laboratories, you can track your sample and get your results fast. This is one of the best testing providers for all your health and wellness needs.
Read Also: LetsGetChecked.com Review
At home tests have only become more popular over the years due to how easy and cost-effective they are to administer. If you’re concerned about your health, a home testing kit can put your mind at ease.