The personalized medicine and quantified self movements have created the opportunity to measure our bodies on-demand. Mobile apps, online platforms and direct-to-consumer services dive into various aspects of our health and well-being, such as:
- Monitoring the effects of exercise and healthy living
- Optimizing our athletic performance
- Understanding and preventing disease
- Measuring overall health at any time
Leaders of this new era of consumerized health care include blood-testing diagnostic services some of which on the rise while others have very publicly demised, if you followed the Theranos debacle. So when it comes to consumers choosing a service, how do you know what responsible testing looks like?
What is Responsible Blood Testing?
1. Looking Deeper
You might be familiar with Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Blood Sugar because they are the most commonly tested and discussed blood tests. While those familiar markers are important and serve a purpose, there are many additional pieces of data that help inform us even more about our health and disease risk
Biomarkers outside of those commonly tested ones tell a more complete picture of what your body is up to and what is going on behind the scenes. While one abnormal biomarker could indicate a serious condition, a deeper look with other related markers could indicate a different level of risk.
2. Understanding Less Sick Vs. Optimally Healthy
Just because one marker is in range, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s optimized.
Knowledge isn’t just power – it empowers you. When you learn more and given the tools to make more informed decisions on your health, you can take actions and see the impact of those actions. Responsible services seek to educate with up-to-date research and risk/reference ranges, rather than just giving you the numbers. With education, the goal is to help you improve your health the long haul. This will make a difference in whether or not you make healthy choices throughout your lifetime
4. Safety and Security
All health companies must adhere to strict HIPAA compliance standards so your health data is private and safe. 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.
5. Price transparency
Understand the cost of healthcare is not always straightforward and often frustrating. Charges, price arrangements, and co-pays often vary. As a customer of a consumer service, you should receive straight-forward, upfront billing.
As the owner of your health data, you should have unrestricted 24/7 access to your data. . 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.
7. Actionable takeaways
Blood testing services are becoming the latest step tracker or wearable – but while they give you the data, how do they help you use that data to make meaningful change? Testing should be accompanied by actionable information, the key difference between knowing your health and owning your health
WellnessFX believes in responsible blood testing. Do you have additional worries or thoughts on the current state of direct-to-consumer blood testing? Leave your thoughts in the comments and let’s keep discussing.
How WellnessFX Can Help
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your fitness performance, or just deciding to take control of your overall health, having the data puts you in the driver’s seat. Even our most basic package includes more tests than the common “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.