Evaluating Home Health Tests
Content by: Sarah Bigbee, RD
What Should We Look for When Choosing a Home Health Test?
The at home health test market is booming following a surge of home health tests administered during the COVID-19 epidemic. More people are putting their trust in these tests to determine areas of improvement for their health. As health care providers, we have the opportunity to help our clients navigate the confusing world of At Home Health Tests. There are a variety of quality indicators to look for when guiding our clients who choose to utilize home health tests.
Our education gives us unique insight and experience to determine the quality of an at home health test. We have the opportunity to guide our clients when recommending a test. We can often be the stopgap for our clients in making valid and reliable test choices. Below is a list of considerations to make when helping your client choose a home health test that meets their needs.
Ensure that the specimen the test requires your client to collect i.e. blood, urine, saliva, will provide a valid response for what it claims to be testing. For instance, if a test is claiming to look at the gut microbiome a saliva test will not give a valid response; a stool sample should be taken to give the best results.
The results of the home health test should be gathered from an independent 3rd party laboratory for unbiased results. Depending on the state, the laboratory that produces the test results should be Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified. This ensures that the proper quality standards for testing are in place.
Many home health tests provide the results along with recommendations for lifestyle changes and potential supplements. As a practitioner it is important to look at the recommendations the site is providing to ensure that they are using up-to-date and trustworthy research to support their health claims.
High quality at home health tests can be expensive so helping guide our clients to tests that are covered through an HSA plan will help to offset the cost. Often this information is available in the FAQ’s though your client may have to reach out to their insurance company.
Many of our clients are getting at home health test brand names from social media or friends. As professionals, we know the power of word of mouth and strategic marketing plays a huge role in decision making. By keeping informed we can assist our clients in making better informed choices.
Identify the industry partners or collaborators who work with the company providing the test. The company should be associated with credible, trustworthy, research based institutions.
When it comes to nutrition, it is important to identify acute or chronic deficiencies…but in a reliable way! By educating ourselves on what qualifies as a high quality at home health test, we are better able to help our clients live the healthy life they desire.
Think you can ignore it? Likely not! More people are choosing at home tests and the market continues to grow. It is estimated that the at-home health tests industry will grow to $8.11 billion by 2027 per a Bloomberg report. As nutrition experts, we can help shape this growth and provide our clients with the high quality testing they deserve.