We’re in a new era of consumerization of healthcare. Personalized medicine and the quantified self movement have paved the way for many new apps, services, and gadgets that help the consumer take their health into their own hands and measure our bodies as they demand – whether it’s to monitor the effects of exercise and healthy living, optimize our performance, or to learn about potential risks of disease.
One trend that is getting increasing attention is personalized blood testing or the option to blood test without seeing a physician.
While there are so many options, pricing, and diagnostic packages available, how do you know which one is right for you?
We compiled a list of questions to help you.
7 Questions to Ask Before Trying Out Personalized Blood Testing
1. How will your blood draw results be delivered?
You are demanding access to the data because it’s your data – but what does receiving that data look like? When browsing testing companies and options, consider how the results will be delivered to you – i.e. Do you have to wait to have a medical professional present in order to review your results? Will it be delivered or uploaded into a personalized platform that only you have access to? Will they be mailed to your house?
Fully understand the delivery method before ordering, to make sure it matches your preferred method of communication.
2. Where will your results be stored?
While it’s great to keep a record of how your health will change over the years, here are a few reasons to be cautious of having only hard copies of your health records:
- It is estimated that a person in the United States can expect to move 11.7 times in their lifetime, and have 11.3 jobs. That’s a lot of new doctors, new tests, healthcare providers, etc. Are your records easy to obtain for your own personal access?
- Paper files risk being lost damaged, or being accessed by unwanted eyes.
- If all of your health information and blood draw results are stored together, you can compare past results and take note of trends. When you have the information and can see trend lines, you have more of the advantage to make informed decisions about lifestyle and nutrition choices.
Seek out the option to store digital copies of your health records.
3. When will your blood test results be accessible?
You want to have unrestricted access to your data – it’s yours after all! Once the data is available, are you able to share it with whomever you like on your health team, such as your physician, nutritionist, or your trainer?
Look for a testing solution that clearly states that you receive 24/7 access to your test results once they’re available. No exceptions.
4. Are your blood test results easy to understand and decode?
When you receive your results is it going to take you another 2 hours to decipher the values?
Do not settle for receiving a bunch of numbers, and hope that your WebMD search skills will help you decipher your labs – not only is that time-consuming, but it’s dangerous. There is a better way!
- Do your results have context? The data should be presented with a reference range and where you are on the risk scale.
- Is the data visually intuitive? Receiving a number range that’s color-coded and/or plotted on a chart can help you understand at a glance where you stand.
- Is there helpful information about the results? Look for a testing company that gives you detailed descriptions of each biomarker.
Ask to see a sample result of what lab results look like and determine for yourself if the way the data is presented helps you get an easy interpretation of your overall health.
5. Does the platform provide you necessary information to improve your biomarkers?
Blood testing services have the potential to be like the latest step tracker or wearable. While they can give you the data, how do they help you use that data to make meaningful change?
Take stock of what tools and information the testing blood testing services provide after you’ve used their service to identify potential health risks or areas that need improvement. It’s the difference between knowing your health and owning your health
6.Does it play well with what you already have?
Do you still have a folder at home in a desk somewhere that has your test results and medical documents from the last 15 years? While you’re getting up to speed on the latest way to manage your health moving forward, don’t forget you also probably have old lab records that could stand to be archived alongside your new ones, for a complete picture of your health.
Ask your potential testing company if they provide an option to store old health data, alongside the new data, in order to help you be a more informed patient.
7. Is the blood testing company private and secure?
All health companies must adhere to strict HIPAA compliance standards so your health data is private and safe in our secure online dashboard. This is to protect your rights around your health data.
Double-check that the blood testing company you choose follows HIPAA compliance standards. No exception.
How WellnessFX Can Help
The most accurate way to understand how exercise, nutrition and lifestyle affect your long-term health is through your biochemistry. That’s why WellnessFX was designed – to help you identify your health risks and nutritional deficiencies, while providing actionable ways to maximize your health. For more information, you can Learn the 7 Ways WellnessFX is Different Than Your Average Healthcare Experience, or check out this cool infographic about how much there is to discover in one drop of blood.
From a basic check up to a deluxe deep dive, there’s a WellnessFX package for everyone, whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness performance, or just deciding to take control of your overall health. Even our most basic package includes more tests than the routine checkup.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.