Diagnostic testing kits are an essential tool to help physicians diagnose and monitor diseases, provide prognoses, and better predict treatment outcomes. The diagnostic market is growing annually by 15%, and continued growth is expected with the recent introduction of at-home diagnostic specialty kits.
Diagnostic specialty kits at a glance
Diagnostic tests are ordered to detect or diagnose specific conditions or diseases. They are much different than prognostic tests that predict the probability of disease development or the likelihood of particular events occurring during that disease’s course. These tests often arrive at medical providers in prepackaged kits containing reagents and other necessary items used to detect or measure specific biomarkers. In addition, there are diagnostic tests available that offer genetic information about deletions, mutations, and other abnormal developments. They are usually developed due to the discovery of links between disease phenotypes and patient genotypes.
Kits serve various purposes and offer medical professionals essential information, including a patient’s chance to develop a complex disease like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This information allows doctors to give patients practical advice on lifestyle changes to minimize their risks or get the most from preventative care. More comprehensive diagnostic tests can also inform optimal treatment measures specific to the patient.
At-home test kits
At-home testing became popular decades ago with the introduction of pregnancy tests. Since then, the market has expanded to include ovulation tests, blood pressure monitoring tests, and tests for urinary tract infections, deteriorating vision, hepatitis C, colon cancer, and HIV. In addition, some of these products provide sample collection devices that need to be mailed for lab processing, while others offer immediate results.
Consumers appreciate the convenience of at-home testing to avoid long trips to their doctor’s office. They also enjoy the anonymity of the test results, whether the results are immediate or they need to set up a PIN to get them. On the other hand, critics worry that they are unreliable and that the results are often wrong if the tests are not correctly administered, causing undue worry for unsuspecting patients. However, consumer demand continues to rise based on the hope for early detection of potential health issues.
At-home testing guidelines
It is vital to remember that you are self-testing, not self-diagnosing, when you use an at-home test kit. Therefore, regardless of your results, you should follow up with a medical professional. In addition, there are specific guidelines you should follow regardless of the test type. First, always confirm the expiration date before taking the test. Next, always store tests according to manufacturer instructions and read the instructions carefully before kit use. Finally, always follow up with your doctor. If your results are positive, treatment is in order, and if results are negative, your physician may recommend retesting to ensure result accuracy.
We hope this information gives you a better understanding of diagnostic specialty kits, their uses, and advantages. You may be exposed to them in a medical setting, or you may choose to take one from the comfort of your home. Regardless, following up with a medical professional is required. Contact us today if your medical facility needs reliable diagnostic specialty kits.