The medical tests that can be done on our own at home, to check a number of conditions, without a prescription are considered as home medical tests. The results are obtained quickly, conveniently and privately.The extra time needed to visit the doctor’s clinic can be bypassed. But these should not be considered as an alternative for a professional health care person.
Conditions like pregnancy, diabetes, etc. can be diagnosed and monitored. But care should be taken, that the results coincide with the laboratory test results.
They are subject to human errors resulting in false positive and false negative results. If a false result appears and the symptoms persist, doctor consultation should be taken at the earliest.The most useful one is the blood sugar tests which can be repeated whenever required. But the cost of the strip should also be considered.
Some common medical kits that can be used at home;
1. Pregnancy: the test is done to confirm conception. Urine is used for testing.
2. Blood pressure: detection of diastolic and systolic blood pressure levels. A cuff device is wrapped around the upper arm and pressure is applied to the area over the artery.
3. Blood glucose: to detect the blood sugar level. Blood is used for testing.
4. Cholesterol: to understand the total cholesterol. The test cannot differentiate the HDL and LDL cholesterol separately. Blood is used for testing.
5. Ovulation: for predicting ovulation within 36 hours. Urine is the material for testing.
6. Hidden Fecal Blood: to detect colorectal cancer. Chemically treated pads are placed in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement. Change in color shows a positive test.
7. Peak Flow Monitors: for the detection of air flow in asthma patients. Air is, made to be exhaled into a mouthpiece connected to a meter, which measures the amount of air that is exhaled from the lungs.
8. AZO test strips: used to detect the urinary tract infections.
9. HIV test kit: commonly available to check for HIV infection in private.
There are certain things that have to be taken care of;
1. The instructions provided should be carefully read and strictly followed.
2. The expiry date of the products, especially, do-it-yourself test kits, has to be carefully noted. False results may be shown by outdated products.
3. The test kit should not be exposed to overheat. (Near the window on a sunny weather, near the radiator, or inside the trunk of a hot car)
4. The sequential steps should not be delayed, as it may affect the result.
5. The steps even though, seem to be unnecessary, should not be skipped.
6. Use a stop-watch or a watch with a second hand, if time is a crucial factor for the test.
7. Food and drink materials should be kept away from the testing place.
8. The area selected for testing should be maintained clean.
9. The test results should be written and recorded for further reference during the visit to the doctor.
10. Call a doctor, if any, of the steps in the test seem to be confusing.
11. Should be kept away from children.