Modern healthcare has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade, and telemedicine and remote treatment options are becoming more widely accepted and commonplace. From at-home lab tests to doctor’s appointments from your phone, access to healthcare is now easier than ever.
Thanks to these new innovations, you can now not only get prompt treatment for any existing illness, but you can also help prevent them through the aid of at-home lab tests. However, just because telemedicine and at-home diagnostics are becoming more available, does it still mean that it’s an ideal option?
Do-It-Yourself Healthcare: A Smart Idea?
Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we approach medical treatment. With more and more providers offering telehealth options to their patients and medical testing labs moving online, it’s reasonable to conclude that at-home healthcare is here to stay.
Nevertheless, there have been some concerns about both the safety and the efficacy of these new treatments and diagnostic tests. In turn, many people are uncertain as to if the DIY approach is right for them. Is the home health approach a viable one?
Fortunately, not only are these diagnostic and treatment options entirely safe and approved for their designated applications, but they’re also highly recommended, as well. By utilizing them, you can help ensure your best health, all without even needing to leave your home.
Current Lineup of At-Home Healthcare Diagnostics and Treatments
While choosing telehealth for the common cold can seem like common sense, what about the plethora of other at-home test options from which you can choose? With so many options out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Rather than trying to wade through the many different options, here are four at-home treatment options from which you can choose, depending on your unique needs.
Please note, however, that these are not a replacement for medical care, but rather, a supplement. If you do have any questions about your results, it’s always prudent to follow up with a trained physician or healthcare provider.
Trying to determine if you may or may not have HIV after accidental exposure can be incredibly stressful and scary. Furthermore, that doesn’t even begin to touch on the necessity for discretion when trying to determine if you may have HIV.
There are several popular HIV tests available on the market right now, allowing you to find out quickly if you have been exposed to HIV. Depending on your sense of urgency and needs, you may choose from one that requires a gum swab versus one that requires a blood test.
Most tests are incredibly accurate (between 92-99%) and can have your results back to you relatively quickly, typically less than a week. It’s important to remember that if you do get a negative test, you may want to retest again in three months to confirm your results.
Blood Glucose Monitoring
Having an elevated blood glucose level can indicate the presence of diabetes. Keeping your blood sugar levels regulated, therefore, is of the utmost importance to those who may be either diabetic (Type 1 or Type 2) or pre-diabetic.
At-home blood glucose monitoring can help make sure that you maintain normal blood glucose levels without frequent doctor’s appointments. Many online and brick-and-mortar stores offer these blood glucose monitors at a reasonable price, making this task fairly straightforward.
To check your blood glucose levels, you will need to take a small blood sample and apply it to the included test strip. The results are almost instantaneous, allowing you to take the guesswork out of your diabetes management.
Colon Cancer Screening
Colon cancer can strike at any age (though it typically affects older adults) and typically begins as small, benign polyps in the colon. Symptoms can include a change in your bowel habits, blood in your stool, pain and discomfort in your stomach, and sudden weight loss.
Early detection of colon cancer is essential to help ensure a better prognosis for you. If caught early, the 5-year survival rate for colon cancer can be as high as 91%. Once it spreads, though, that can drop as low as 14%.
An at-home FIT Test (Fecal Immunochemical Test) can help identify the presence of blood in your stool, an early sign of colon cancer. These tests are generally quite affordable and fast, allowing you to know quickly if you may be at an elevated risk of colon cancer.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections are quite common, affecting both men and women. Over 8 million people annually will see a doctor for a UTI, but at-home testing can help reduce that wait and allow you to be on your path to recovery much faster.
There are a number of over-the-counter test strips you can use to determine if you may have a UTI. You can purchase them at most online or local retailers, and they can give you your test results in as little as two minutes.
It’s important to note that there is a 10% chance that the test may not detect your UTI. If your symptoms persist, you may need an appointment with your healthcare provider. In addition, an appointment may also be necessary for an antibiotic prescription.
Staying Educated About Your At-Home Healthcare Options
Staying on top of your health does not have to mean long waits at your local walk-in clinic or urgent care. By educating yourself about your at-home treatment options, you can help empower yourself to get prompt, accurate diagnoses to help you reclaim both your good health and your peace of mind.