Why is Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Testing Good for Your Overall Health?
Have you ever gone to a doctor already knowing or at least suspecting what is making you sick? Did the doctor listen to what you had to say? Did the doctor order the lab tests that you wanted? Unfortunately, for many people, the answers to the last two questions are often “NO”! Fortunately, in the state of Washington it is legal for a person to order their own lab tests – in other words, you don’t need a doctor’s order. This is also called direct-to-consumer (DTC) lab testing. This allows YOU to take charge of your health – and often saves you time and money!
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) testing began over a decade ago, but only applied to genetic testing. Since then, most states in the United States have legalized DTC testing for most or all categories of lab testing. DTC testing is also known as patient-ordered or patient-authorized lab testing and is a method of lab testing without the requirement of a healthcare provider to order the testing. DTC testing has become a popular option in this do-it-yourself (DIY) age of personalized healthcare.
Today, a wide range of DTC tests are available to evaluate a person’s health, including (but not limited to) tests that evaluate your general health, women’s health (including reproductive health), men’s health, cardiovascular health, diabetes, anemia, thyroid function, food allergies, infectious diseases (e.g., COVID-19, influenza, sexually-transmitted disease (STD)) and autoimmune disease.
Why is Direct-to-Consumer Testing Good for Your Overall Health?
Modern medicine provides an extremely important resource for each person’s overall health. However, there is still much that medical professionals do not know. Throughout their lives, people come to know their own bodies better than anyone else. DTC testing allows a person to be much more involved with their own bodies and their own health – it gives them a way to help their healthcare providers provide more accurate and timely diagnoses. What are some other benefits of DTC testing?
Convenience – Testing on Your Schedule:
Much of the stress, anxiety, and overall negative feelings about healthcare stems from the inconvenience. A simple lab test can take excessive amounts of your time and energy, scheduling an initial appointment, getting a referral, waiting in line, then booking another appointment to go over the result(s).
Tomorrow’s Health does not require an appointment. You can walk in and get tested when it’s most convenient for you. And the results come directly to you – no need to wait to see your healthcare provider. If a test result(s) is abnormal, then you can schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to determine a way forward.
Accuracy – Minimize the Guessing:
Often when people are feeling unwell and they don’t wish to see their healthcare provider, they try a host of “home remedies” to make them feel better. This may result in a cocktail of vitamin, herbal and other supplements. Unfortunately, this can be expensive, is most often ineffective, and in some cases is harmful.
Ordering DTC lab tests based on your symptoms is relatively quick and inexpensive and can give you accurate and potentially important information about your health.
Too often, patients expect completely accurate and effective treatment from their healthcare providers – with little or no personal input. Most of the time, this does NOT work. More effective health outcomes depend greatly on meaningful input from the patient. When YOU initiate DTC lab testing at Tomorrow’s Health, YOU become a core component of your healthcare process, and YOU become invested in your continued good health.
DTC lab tests provide people with a greater understanding of their body and its current health state. With this increased knowledge and invested interest, you can be directly involved in your health, adjusting your lifestyle to pursue healthier practices. You can work with medical professionals to address your specific healthcare needs.
Of course, the body is a complex system, and results can be confusing. Rather than jumping to alarming conclusions, we highly recommend speaking with a medical professional about your results. They can explain in detail what the results mean, how they will affect your overall health, and what steps to take next.
Tomorrow’s Health Provides Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Laboratory Testing Capabilities
In November 2020, Tomorrow’s health was started to fill a critical need in the Tri-Cities for rapid and accurate COVID-19 testing. Then, in July 2021, we increased our testing menu to include a wide variety of DTC lab tests to evaluate a person’s overall health.
Whether ordered by a doctor or as direct-to-consumer (DTC), we offer a comprehensive menu of laboratory tests.
Take charge of your own health. Come into Tomorrow’s Health today and order your own laboratory test!
Brent L. House, PhD
Tomorrow’s Health Laboratory