Most anyone would agree that a home test that could help with a diagnosis in lieu of a doctor’s visit might equal out to a win-win situation for all. Work schedules, children, and a busy life often keeps people from booking appointments with their family physician. Not to mention the fact that long wait times at the doctor sometimes prohibits individuals from booking a visit.
Well, Kidney.org revealed that a new home test for kidney disease could act as huge milestone for the condition, save a lot of lives. According to Kidney.org, approximately 30 million adults in America have chronic kidney disease (CKD), with 90% of these individuals unaware that they suffer from this condition. While you can get tested at your doctor’s office, a home test would offer the convenience for those who may not have the time for an appointment, nor the patience.
A clinical trial around a new chronic kidney home test, which involved close 1,000 participants, revealed that a high number of those who participated were pleased with the testing process and would prefer using the test via going to visit their physician.
Geisinger, Healthy.io, along with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recently organized an evaluation around a smartphone CKD home test. Hypertension patients, which happens to be a huge CKD risk factor, that have had no testing in the last year were provided with an option of using a urinalysis smartphone home test, and the results proved to be interesting.
Of those that received the home test, 71% used it, with a 98% rate of success. Meanwhile, 89% noted that they preferred using the home test over a doctor’s office visit.
While current guidelines state CKD testing should take place annually for those adults with hypertension and/or diabetes, statistics show that less than 40% of patients with diabetes and less than 10% that suffer from hypertension complete this type of assessment when they should.
With CKD a life-threatening condition, early detection is key to slowing down the progression of this illness, and ensuring patients are on the proper path with treatment option.
Researchers concluded that mailing out the smartphone home tests could offer a viable screening option preference for those who are unable to visit their family doctor; thus, ensuring the annual test is done within a timely window.
One of the trial investigators noted that the CKD home tests were well-received, where patients found them easy to do. It was also noted that some limitations within the trial included the fact that the team was required to get approval by patients over the phone before sending out tests, and there were some who received abnormal findings with their urinalysis who had to go to a clinic lab for testing confirmation, as well as follow up at the three-month mark.
Having said that, it was also noted that research done in the future should help to evaluate the best confirmation testing and screen strategies moving forward so that this sort of analysis could be done at a patient’s home.
Only time will tell if this comes to fruition, but the clinical study looks promising.