It's not surprising that health consumers want to know specifics.
They are not satisfied with being told you're fine.' Home pregnancy tests have been available for many years, but thanks to technology, the number of tests available to be done outside the hospital has increased dramatically. One survey reported that over 25 percent of medical testing is done outside of the hospital laboratory.
In today's healthcare market, the consumer is expected to take on some responsibility for his or her own care. While the doctor is the professional you consult, individuals are expected to actively participate in their own wellness. Knowing your family medical history, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and staying abreast of new developments in medicine are all part of managing your preventive care.
There are several benefits to home medical tests, but primarily they can reduce the cost of care by reducing the number of doctor visits. Home tests perform several other functions:
Doctor prescribed monitoring as in the case of hypertension, diabetes, or infertility.
Detecting markers for possible health conditions when there are no physical signs or symptoms as with high cholesterol or rectal cancer.
Detecting specific conditions when there are no physical signs or symptoms such as pregnancy.
In-home testing also gives consumers a sense of control over their health. Too many times health information literacy is a problem and consumers don't know what questions to ask their doctor. In turn, doctors often speak in medical terms that consumers don't understand.
The test results give the consumer something to bring to the doctor that starts a dialogue. To make the best use of in-home tests, take common sense precautions:
Check the expiration date.
An expired will not work properly, so the results will be invalid.
Take note of special precautions such as avoiding certain foods and drugs before testing.
Follow instructions exactly. Don't skip a step.
Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions about the test results.
Health care will only become more decentralized. In-home testing will become more prevalent as consumers search for real-time results, privacy, and convenience.
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