Home Health Testing – Is it the way to go?
Home health testing is finally becoming a viable option for monitoring your health from the comfort and privacy of your home. You know the drill, for blood tests, you need to fast for at least 12 hours, drive to the doctor's office, wait, and then go back so the lab technician can draw blood for processing. What if this process could be shortened and done from the privacy of your home? There is a relatively new entrant to home health testing. Austin, TX-based Everlywell gained prominence back in early 2016 when they closed a $2.5 billion seed round of funding for the startup. Led by co-founder and CEO Julia Cheek, the firm has its sights set on transforming the $25 billion diagnostics industry.
How does it work?
You order the tests from the Everlywell website (affiliate link). There are about 12 different tests that you can order. They offer men’s and women’s health tests, food sensitivity, and sexual health tests, which are the most popular. Everlywell sends the testing kit to your home in about two business days. You then follow the instructions that are in the box for sample collection and then send the box to one of Everlywell’s lab partners for processing. In 5-7 days, your results are posted to the Everywell website for you to review.
A board-certified doctor reviews all results before being posted to your private portal on the Everlywell internet site. For many of the tests, you can schedule an appointment with an Everlywell doctor to discuss your results. Within the portal, there is an option to print out the results for your doctor are in more of a raw format than what is produced for the end-consumer.
What markers are tested?
Each test kit tests for different Markers. For instance, the food sensitivity test will test for food sensitivity to 96 foods. Keep in mind that a food sensitivity is distinctly different from a food allergy. The food sensitivity test is not an allergy test, but a test to indicate if you have a food sensitivity that causes discomfort or inflammation in your body. The results of this test could then be used to determine if you should undergo a full allergy test.
The Men’s Health test tests for cortisol, DHEA, Estradiol, and Free Testosterone. This test asks that you collect a saliva sample. The user is instructed to do this test in the morning, before eating or drinking any foods. Once the sample is collected, you place it in the freezer to freeze the specimen, and then send the sample off the next day to the Everlywell lap for processing.
On the Everlywell portal, there is also a community message board where you can discuss your results with others and exchange ideas and information with others who have used the Everlywell tests. Everlywell limits participation on these boards to clients only. This feature provides a unique way to share your questions and thoughts about a test in a discreet and anonymous way.
I have personally taken 3 of these tests. Each test has provided great insight into my overall health. The first test I too was the food sensitivity test, which provided me insight into foods that I did not realize I had a sensitivity to. In other cases, it validated what I had come to discover on my own. I plan on using the results of this test to have a conversation with my doctor and determine the next steps. The main benefit of this test is the large test panel that is tested as well as the convenience of performing the sample collection from my home. From the time I sent the sample back to Everlywell my results appeared on my portal in five business days, so turnaround time for posting results is relatively quick.
I am looking forward to using these results to tweak my diet and exercise regimen as well as to start a conversation with my doctor about what steps I should take next. Everlywell is working with other partners to incorporate their testing with other home health providers. As home testing space continues to evolve, it will be exciting to watch Everlywell continue to bring innovative home health testing services to the market. I am already thinking about what test I will order next; I love data, especially my own. Here's to good health.
Special Deal for my readers. If you are interested in trying one or more of these tests, here is a coupon code for 10% off your entire order from EverlyWell. Enjoy! 10% Off Coupon for the New Year at EverlyWell. Use coupon code MY2017 during checkout.