Maintaining Sample Integrity in At-Home Sample Collection

March 31, 2022
Life Sciences

We all rely on doctors to tell us when our health is not on par. Many times, this requires some form of lab testing whether it be through blood, saliva, fecal matter, etc. We trust that these results are accurate. After all, it is science. However, compromised samples do exist. They exist even when fully handled by trained professionals, but with the availability of at home sample collection, patients need to be aware of the importance of proper handling.

Telehealth is not a new concept. At-home diagnostic tests have been available for many years which include pregnancy, STI’s, glucose levels, blood pressure, etc., but clinical lab tests are quickly moving into the self-sample collection mode which can pose some challenges.

When we think about the process of at-home sample collection, it includes receiving the test in the mail, opening the package, reading instructions, performing the test, packaging the sample, and sending the package out to the lab. What could possibly go wrong?

#1 Sample Collection – In order to ensure the sample is collected in the proper manner to eliminate mishandling, clear instructions must be a priority. Without professional training, patients must rely on the most detailed, easy-to-follow instructions that leaves no room for misinterpretation.

#2 Sample Storage – Controlling how the patient handles the sample gets more complicated. How do you know if the patient left the sample out in a hot car for hours before sending it on its way? Most biological samples must stay within a certain temperature range to preserve the integrity of the specimen. A temperature tracking device would help minimize this margin of error.

At-home biological sample collection has its challenges, just like any other industry. However, improvements are ongoing and with such an accelerated advance into a world of remote services, there is always plenty of room to grow.

Embrace the advances of technology and provide your patients with the necessary tools to efficiently conduct these tests at home with the same integrity of a health professional. Reduce the number of compromised samples with clear instructions and temperature monitoring for your patients and their samples. Give your patients “Peace of Mind”.

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