skip the doctor on the way to the lab - one way car alarm
Getting a "simple" blood test seems as simple as getting a mortgage approval. There's the 20-minute schlep (minimum)
Come back after the doctor's office;
The long purgatory in the waiting room;
Then it took about an hour between doctors, nurses and medical technicians just to learn--
Blowing for half a day--
The results are not ready for a week or more and sometimes need another appointment.
Many Americans say now: forget it.
Business testing labs and internet brokers have begun to bypass doctors and sell medical tests directly to consumers. So-called direct-
Access test has a drive-
Appeal by: roll up your sleeves, write down your credit card or cash, and choose from the menu of 30 to 50 Tests.
The results are usually posted online the next day;
There is no need for a doctor's order, nor does it involve an insurance company.
"Time and convenience are quality --of-
Life is a problem for me. Jeannette Leach, 49, said.
She has ordered an examination to help monitor her thyroid condition.
"The lab I visited was located on the road I drove to work.
It opens at 8 in the morning. m.
I was there, 10 minutes later, on my way to work.
"We think there are very few people doing this now . "
Bruce Friedman, professor of pathology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, "but it should have a huge appeal to health --
Conscious consumers who are most passionate about controlling their own health care.
"Health Assessment is limited, such as stroke screening and blood tests
Pharmacies and grocery stores are increasingly offering stress checks, andbody X-
Ray scanning has proved very popular and is now available in some shopping malls.
Recently, Quest Diagnostics Inc. , the world's largest diagnostic laboratory. Open directly-
At test sites in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Maryland and Virginia, work with the East Coast grocery chain, Giant Food, to sell a range of blood and other tests in stores.
Direct testing on the Internet seems to have grown the most so far.
Demand is not strong on foot
Jondavid Klipp, chief editor of The Lab Industry Report, said he investigated some labs at outlets.
Quest will not disclose the number of tests it has done. Yet Web-
In the first half of this year, clothing sales at Headquarters increased.
Healthcheck usa in San Antonio reports that thousands of tests have been conducted this year and sales have increased by 200% since January 2001.
Online agencies sign contracts with local laboratories to collect blood or other samples and then ship the liquid out of the state for testing.
* The website bypassed the law, although there are laws in many states, including California, prohibiting laboratories from conducting most tests directly without the authorization of doctorsto-
If the laboratory of the consumer website is located outside these states, it is not subject to these laws.
"What is happening is that many clinical laboratory functions are going online and they are increasingly open to consumers no matter where they live," Friedman said . ".
Once these companies have invested in the cost of developing the presence of the network, they will inevitably continue to expand the range of tests they provide, from simple blood tests to urine analysis, the researchers said, then to the ultrasound imaging of osteoporosis.
Legislative bodies in several states in recent years-
Including California. -
I have taken action to expand the number and type of available tests without a doctor's order. Last year Gov.
Gray Davis signed a bill that allows the laboratory to carry out the current act as an at-without a doctor's authorization-
Family kits including pregnancy, cholesterol and glucose screening.
According to Friedman, he studied the emergence of e-commerce
The direct test lab has two main attractions: easy access and privacy. Health-
A conscious person who wants to test more frequently than a doctor's order is a class of users.
Before submitting a drug test, the same is true for people who want to check blood and urine.
The list also includes people who want to anonymously test if they have HIV or hepatitis C or want to check certain values ---
For example, cholesterol levels-
Do it privately before purchasing health insurance or changing the plan.
The most popular tests were standard blood clots, including 12 to 20 different measurement methods from cholesterol and glucose levels to liver and kidney function markers.
These panels are usually ordered as part of a regular physical examination, but the need for them indicates another type of user: wealthy and busy people, they want to take a look at their test scores without going to the doctor.
Access labs highly recommends that their clients consult a doctor.
"We have made it very clear that this test cannot replace the doctor," said Hughes beckwell, vice president of consumer health at Quest . ".
"We think our service is a supplement to regular visits.
"Litch did about 20 blood tests through a health check, including measurements of thyroid function, which he said was the way she used the results.
"Once I get them, a copy will be sent to my primary school --
"The nursing doctors and endocrine scientists who treat my thyroid disease," she said . ".
However, there is no guarantee that the most direct
Access customers will consult professionals, and that's the problem, the doctor said.
The doctor said: "The first rule of medicine is: don't hurt others . "
Linda Rosenstock, dean of the School of Public Health at UCLA, said, "Here, people may get false guarantees about their health without follow-up --
Make an appointment at the time it should be, or be very anxious about the test results when it is not necessary.
"PSA screening for prostate cancer in men is a good example.
Doctors believe that it is normal for PSA readings to be lower than 4, with a slight increase between 4 and 10, and higher than 10 is strong evidence of cancer.
However, at least half of men who scored more than 4 points did not have cancer, while about 20% of men who scored normally developed cancer.
Many doctors believe that in many cases, the best way to use the test is to keep track of the changes in its value over time ---
Don't relax or panic based on a single result.
As far as this is concerned, not everyone understands what is the result of "normal.
According to the doctor
S. Acting Director Caroline ClancyS.
Health Care Research and Quality institutions that study health care quality and patient safety, the normal test score is within the score range of 95% healthy people.
Another 5% of people are completely healthy, and their level is naturally above or below this range.
"For such people, the results they get are not unusual at all for them, but they have no way to know about it," Clancy said . ".
"I will worry about anyone who has these results and is waiting for a doctor to call back.
They may have been waiting for a week and they are trying to figure out whether or not they need to make a will, or what, the whole time.
"* The confusion of the most popular tests provided by direct access is widely accepted as authoritative evidence of a potential disease: cholesterol at risk of heart disease;
Blood glucose levels at diabetes risk;
Index of liver and kidney function.
However, other tests often pose a problem for people.
For example, laboratories often detect levels of high homophonic acid associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, no one knows exactly how to deal with these levels, or how different it is to reduce them, Clancy said.
"If we find that people with red hair are more prone to heart disease, what can we do? " she said.
That's why the public
Health researchers believe that direct testing may be the best option for those who understand the limits of laboratory work.
They say that "exception" results are not only likely to be wrong, they should be repeated in this case, but many tests are rough and should be handled this way.
An example is CA-
125 tests for screening ovarian cancer.
"It's a test that many women are asking for, and we're telling them it's not very sensitive," Vaughan said . ".
"They need to know this before they see the results.
"No medical association recommended CA-
Doctors say there is a good reason for 125 screening.
David Atkins, chief of staff, State DepartmentS.
An independent team to assess screening procedures-the task force on preventive services.
On the one hand, the criteria for evaluating CA
The level of 125 in different laboratories may vary.
On the other hand, false
Alarm rate high.
In a recent study of more than 10,000 women aged 45 and older, British researchers found that 468125 levels.
Further tests identified 29 candidates who appeared to be good candidates for surgery, but it turned out that only 6 of those who had surgery actually had cancer.
"For every woman with cancer, there are four women who don't need surgery," Atkins said . ".
Overall, only about one of the 100 women tested positive had cancer.
Because ovarian cancer is not common, even tests that look accurate on paper produce a lot of false positives, Atkins said.
"You can think of it as a car alarm: very few people actually break into the car," he said . ".
"In this case, women need to know that if their test results are positive,
The Up test is not only inconvenient, but also invasive.
"Many researchers agree that some people with special conditions can benefit from fast and convenient testing ---
For example, those with high cholesterol that monitor the effects of diet, or those with thyroid problems that need to be checked for thyroid hormone levels.
At the same time, anyone who has a regular blood test is bound to get some abnormal results ---
Some are wrong, some are not.
It is crucial to have a doctor's number at this time.
"The doctor is the only one who can accept all this information, not only to tell you what it means, but also to tell you what to do ---
Or not . "Anna R.
Graham, president of the American Society of Clinical Pathology.
The same is true for any test, she said.
"Doctors can not only achieve life --
Threat value, but advise the patient immediately or recommend it to an expert.