Over the past few decades, the onset of technology has significantly improved the healthcare outcome for almost every section of society. Similarly, diagnostics, one of the critical segments of the healthcare system, have also been revamped remarkably. Earlier, even for a minor diagnostic test, the patient had to wait for hours or weeks for simple diagnostics tests, but today the situation has completely changed. Companies are focussing more on patient-centered devices for diagnosing diseases and symptoms. At-home diagnostic tools/kits are one of the most growing trends of healthcare.
At-home diagnostic tools play a vital role in the management and diagnosis of acute and chronic diseases and empower patients to make informed decisions about their health. These are getting wider attention from market players and the general public due to their variety of applications, functions, availability, and effectiveness. Apart from detecting and monitoring medical conditions, they also save users time and money. In some situations like in the case of HIV, they can ensure the privacy and security of patients’ healthcare information. The demand for at-home tools has increased significantly owing to the increasing CVDs, rising income, and many other factors.
What are the most common At-home Diagnostic Tools?
Blood glucose monitors – Blood glucose monitors are among the most popular devices available in the market. Equipped with strips, lancets, batteries, these devices provide accurate blood glucose levels. Over the past few years, blood glucose monitors have significantly improved. They are available with an application that makes it easier for the patient to analyze their health data on smartphones. Medtronic, LifeScan, Tandem Diabetes Care, Dexcom, One Drop, Ascensia Diabetes Care, Hoffmann-La Roche AG are some of the key companies in the Blood glucose monitors market.
Pulse Oximeters – Attached to the fingertip, the Pulse Oximeters are a small and lightweight device that measures a person’s oxygen saturation and pulse rate. Pulse Oximeters come with a screen showing the percent of the oxygen in blood coming from the heart. However, there is some issue pertaining to the use of pulse oximeters. The pulse oximeter may give inaccurate or inconsistent readings if there is poor circulation, dark skin pigmentation, thick skin, skin temperature, and many others.
Pulse Oximeters market is quite competitive, and companies at the global level such as Medtronic, Masimo, Omron Healthcare, General Electric Manufacturing Company (GEMAC), Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Vyaire Medical, Nonin Medical are involved in the development of the device.
Cholesterol – Today, with the help of a home test kit, it is becoming easier for people to measure cholesterol levels quickly and conveniently at home. A Cholesterol home kit becomes particularly important for the people affected with high cholesterol as they can manage their health regularly.
COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Kit – To overcome the cumbersome process of Covid-19 testing at diagnostic centres or hospitals, few companies at the global level had started developing coronavirus home test kits. The FDA granted the first emergency use authorization (EUA) to Lucia’s covid-19 all-in-one test kit to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2. The at-home diagnostic equipment has made it convenient for the user to conduct self-testing at home and reduced the chance for exposures to covid-19. Apart from these, some of the companies such as Ellume, Quidel Corp., and few others have also rolled out their in-home diagnostic kit.
Blood Pressure Monitors – Over the past few years, the prevalence of high blood pressure has increased significantly owing to the inactive lifestyle, stress, diet, and many other underlying medical conditions. To provide an effective solution to diagnose blood pressure at home, companies have made significant progress in at-home blood pressure monitoring tools over the years. Today, smart wireless blood pressure monitors are getting much wider attention as compared to traditional monitors. These smart monitors come with many smart features and are easily synchronized with smartphones. At present, some companies such as A&D Medical, Qardio, Spengler SAS, American Diagnostic Corporation, Halma, Rossmax International, Welch Allyn, Beurer GmbH, Omron Healthcare, and others are strengthening the growth of the Blood Pressure Monitors market.
HIV At-Home Test – Now it is easier to self-test HIV at home while maintaining privacy and confidentiality. The at-home test can be the first step before getting tested at a laboratory. The FDA has approved the OraQuick In-Home HIV test that can give results in 20 minutes. However, it observed that at-home HIV tests can’t be 100% accurate. Some incidents have been noticed where OraQuick has produced false-negative results.
Drug abuse, Allergy, Anemia, Pregnancy, and Urinary infections are some of the diseases and medical conditions for which different types of diagnostic kits are available in the market.
Benefits of At-Home Diagnostic Tools
- Potential for faster and better diagnosis
- Opportunity for 24/7 access (or real-time reporting)
- Time-saving and confidential
- Easy-to-use and safe
- Highly beneficial for the older person and younger children.
Disadvantages of At-home Diagnostic Tools
- Scope for inaccurate measurement/ data
- Limited results
- Potential Side-Effects
The future of At-home Diagnostic Tools
At-home diagnostic technology is empowering the ordinary person. From blood glucose levels to cholesterol levels, urinary tract infection to HIV status, almost all medical conditions are easy to diagnose and measure with these portable health gadgets. With advancements in technology and innovation, the digital diagnostics kits equipped with cloud technology, better UI, larger memory size hold the potential to reshape the healthcare industry trends.
Medical device companies are entering the market with many high-end diagnostic tools and kits to meet the diverse demand from different population segments and also to gain a competitive advantage. The at-home diagnostic tool market is evolving significantly and is expected to show a remarkable growth rate in coming years too. The rise in income, growing geriatric population, rising awareness toward personal health (or personal care), increasing incidence of lifestyle-associated diseases (or CVDs) will drive the demand for At-home Diagnostic Tools. Whether it is Covid-19 or other factors, as discussed before, the demand for at-home diagnostic tools is likely to remain high; however, lack of reimbursement policies and high production cost will somehow create roadblocks in demand for these diagnostics devices.