Healthcare Technology Featured Article

March 30, 2022

Telehealth: At-Home Blood Draws - All in the Palm of Your Hand




If you need to have a blood draw but don't want to go to the doctor or hospital, you may be wondering if it's possible to do an at home blood draw. The answer is yes, and in this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about them and the technology that’s going to help you. Innovations in technology and associated devices now mean more patients can have blood tests at home.

What is a blood draw?

A blood draw is a medical procedure in which a small blood sample is taken from the body. The sample can be taken from a vein, an artery, or capillaries. It is typically done using a needle and syringe, although some newer methods use special devices to collect the sample.

What you may not realize is how easy it can be to organize a blood draw in the modern-age. There are companies with fully integrated telehealth platforms able to handle the whole process from booking to results, all via the device in the palm of your hand.

What are the benefits of at-home blood draws?

Convenience is the biggest win here. You can simply book a test on your phone via an app, and get the results via your doctor, or even right back on your mobile via Apple Health. It really is as simple as that. Telehealth has really taken off during the Covid-19 pandemic and it doesn’t look like slowing down!

Other benefits of at-home blood draws include:

  • Less stress: Home blood draws can be less stressful than going to a doctor or hospital for the procedure.
  • Lower cost: Home blood draws are typically less expensive than having the procedure done in a medical setting.

What are the different types of at-home blood draws?

There are two main types of at-home blood draws: venipuncture and fingerstick.

Venipuncture is the most common type of blood draw and involves taking a sample from a vein, typically in the arm. This blood draw is generally more accurate than a fingerstick and is often used for diagnostic testing.

Fingerstick blood draws are less common but can be used for some types of testing. This type of blood draw involves taking a sample from the fingertip and is typically less accurate than a venipuncture.

How do I prepare for an at home blood draw?

There are some things you can do to prepare for an at-home blood draw, including:

Choose the right type of blood draw: If you have a diagnostic test done, it is important to choose the right type of blood draw. Venipuncture is generally the best choice for accuracy, but fingerstick blood can be used for some types of testing.

Choose the right time: It is best to have an at home blood draw when you are well-rested and not feeling stressed. This will help to minimize any discomfort you may feel during the procedure.

Eat and drink normally: There is generally no need to change your diet or fast before an at home blood draw (unless specifically instructed to do so by your doctor). Instead, just eat and drink as you normally would.

Wash your hands: It is important to wash your hands thoroughly before the procedure. This will help to prevent any infection.

What supplies do I need for an at home blood draw?

There are a few supplies you will need for an at-home blood draw, including:

  • A small container: This can be a cup, a bottle, or a special blood collection tube.
  • A tourniquet: This is used to apply pressure to the arm and make the veins more visible.
  • Alcohol swabs: These are used to clean the skin before the procedure.
  • A needle and syringe: This is used to draw the blood from the vein.
  • Band-aids: These are used to cover the puncture site after the procedure.

How is an at home blood draw done?

An at-home blood draw is typically done using a needle and syringe, although some newer methods use special devices to collect the sample. The procedure is generally quick and easy and only takes a few minutes to complete.

First, the area where the needle will be inserted will be cleaned with an alcohol swab. Next, a tourniquet will be applied to the arm (this helps to make the veins more visible). The needle will then be inserted into the vein, and the blood will be collected in the container. Once the desired amount of blood is collected, the needle will be removed, and a band-aid will be placed over the puncture site.

What should I do after an at home blood draw?

After an at-home blood draw, it is important to:

  • Apply pressure: Apply pressure to the puncture site for several minutes to help stop any bleeding.
  • Keep the area clean: Keep the area clean and dry to help prevent infection.
  • Change the bandage: Change the bandage as needed, and if it becomes wet or dirty.
  • Monitor for signs of infection: Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pain at the puncture site.

If you have any questions or concerns about an at home blood draw, be sure to talk to your doctor. They will be able to give you specific instructions on how to prepare and what to expect.

Other FAQs About At-Home Blood Draws

Here are some other frequently asked questions:

Q: Can I do an at home blood draw on myself?

A: Generally, it is not recommended to do an at home blood draw on yourself. If you consider this, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

Q: How often can I have an at home blood draw?

A: The frequency of at-home blood draws will depend on the reason for the testing. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have the procedure done.

Q: Is an at home blood draw covered by insurance?

A: Coverage for at-home blood draws will vary depending on your insurance plan. Check with your insurance provider to see if the procedure is covered.

Q: What are the risks of an at home blood draw?

A: The risks of an at home blood draw are generally minimal. However, there is always a small risk of complications, such as infection or bruising, as with any medical procedure. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.









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