10 Best Blood Tests of 2018
Online blood tests are a new, growing trend in the health industry that allows consumers to choose which blood tests they want from an online menu, without necessitating an initial doctor’s visit. After ordering online, users select a collection center and make an appointment, or just drop by to have their blood sample collected. Conversely, and depending on the type of test and company, consumers may also collect their own sample or have a health professional visit them, at their convenience. After testing, results are sent via email and usually posted to the customer's online account.
Thanks to this relatively new service, health-conscious consumers can now track their emerging health patterns without the need for a doctor’s referral. And because consumers can skip that initial doctor’s visit, they also save time and money. Another convenience of online blood testing is that the results are sent right to the customers’ email address and can also be shared with their primary physician, giving average consumers more independence and control over their health.
Keep in mind that although many services offer a physician consultation for an additional fee, or as a complimentary service, the results are only for informational purposes. It is likely that these healthcare professionals might not have the time to give consumers a careful interpretation of the results. As always, with important matters such as your health, remember to share test results and concerns with your regular physician.
Top 10 Companies
- Weekly promotions
- Tests starting from $20
- Choose between over 1,000 tests
- Over 2,500 certified blood-draw centers
- Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified labs
- Results available within 1-3 business days
- Easy-to-read results reviewed by a board-certified physician
- Convenient, DIY sample collection
- Results always available on your online dashboard
- All labs are CLIA-certified labs
- Kits available for in 46 states
- Smaller samples for the same results
- Optimize your body's performance
- Blood analytics tailored to your needs
- Large demographic database of over 150,000 healthy people
- Personalized recommendations for optimized wellness and performance
- Track your progress over time
- Nutrition plan designed with your needs and goals in mind
- Choose from over 300 lab tests
- Over 2,300 locations across the U.S.
- 24/7 customer support available
- Vast industry experience
- All lab results approved by a licensed physician
- Telehealth services available
- No hidden fees
- 110% price guarantee
- Complementary cholesterol test
- CLIA-certified labs
- Miltary and sports testing
- HIPAA-compliant company
- No hidden fees
- A leading provider of direct-to-consumer health testing
- Over 30 years of experience in the market
- A large selection of packages and individual tests
- Secure checkout and downloadable test results
- A user-friendly website with health-related articles
- Positive customer reviews, 100% satisfaction guaranteed
- A+ rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau
- Fast results delivered within 24-48 hours
- Simple, confidential, and inexpensive
- Nationwide laboratory facilities through Quest Diagnostics
- High-quality diagnostics and online health services
- Accessible biometric and visualized data
- Affordable access to health insights and tools
- Personalized consultations with licensed health practitioners
- Talk to a nutritionist, dietitian, or physician online
- Wellness dashboard charts your progress over time
- A large selection of tests and packages at affordable prices
- Packages tailored to your health needs through the "Build Your Own Panel" option
- Health articles and tools to help customers make the right decision
- Compare panels to get the best price
How We Compare Blood Tests
Online lab services offer the same broad range of blood tests any lab facility would, while simultaneously doing away with the middleman, substantially speeding up the process and making it more affordable. Online blood tests also give consumers greater agency over their health, allowing them to be active participants in their diagnosis and treatment selection process. While some of these lab services have adopted a halfway conventional approach that requires the customer to go to a laboratory facility in their area to collect the samples, others let the clients themselves collect the blood, urine, or stool samples and mail these in for processing. Many of these providers also offer complimentary additional health-related services, such as tele-health consultations with licensed healthcare practitioners—including nurses, dietitians, physicians, nutritionists, and physical trainers—personalized nutrition and fitness recommendations, and insights on how to improve overall wellness.
Some online lab services offer a broad range of blood tests which consumers can purchase individually. These can range from complete blood counts or CBCs, to comprehensive tests that measure hormone, blood glucose, cholesterol, protein, and vitamin levels, among many others.
In order to make their services even more convenient for online buyers, some online blood labs offer their products as packages that cater to specific purposes, such as applying for a job or gauging overall health, thyroid function, hormonal balances, etc.
Some online lab services offer a broad range of blood tests consumers can purchase individually. These can range from complete blood counts or CBCs to comprehensive tests that measure hormone, blood glucose, cholesterol, protein, and vitamin levels, among many others.
While some direct-to-consumer lab test companies require their clients to go to one of their laboratory facilities for the sample collection, others allow the consumer to collect their own samples and mail them in for testing. The results of such tests, regardless of the sample collection method, will be sent directly to the consumer or posted on their online accounts.
One of the main evaluation criteria for discerning individuals, when comparing direct-to-consumer lab tests companies, is the overall value of the services they offer, which should encompass an assessment of such factors as price, discounts, and results. The main reasons to choose online blood tests over traditional ones is the ability to cut down on time and costs. Online lab work services offer an alternative to the often-expensive conventional laboratory tests and allow consumers to take ownership of their health through a quicker, more efficient process, that delivers the same level of quality results.
CLIA certified labs
The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulate laboratory testing by requiring clinical laboratories to be certified by the state as well as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. There are several types of CLIA certificates, each based on the diagnostic tests the laboratory performs. The federal agencies that regulate CLIA certifications are The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Some online lab services charge an additional blood-draw fee for carrying out the sample collection at one of their laboratory facilities. There are companies that already include these fees with the cost of the test or package, while others do away with them altogether. If the company doesn't provide information regarding additional fees, we recommend going to through their FAQ section or contacting them directly to inquire about these details. Other companies offer white glove services, where professional phlebotomists visit your home or workplace for sample collection at your convenience.
Due to HIPAA regulations, online blood work companies cannot provide test results via email; they must do so through a secure online account that customers can access at any time. However, companies offering these types of services will usually contact the customer via email to notify them when their results are ready.
Just as with any other type of online service, choosing an online blood work company that upholds high customer service standards should be a priority for all consumers. Since the customer completes the transaction without having to deal with physicians or other intermediaries, online lab tests companies should provide a user-friendly website that facilitates the distribution of legitimate health-related information, and delivers test results in an easy-to-digest format. Most companies offering these direct-to-consumer services also offer tele-health services or online consultations with licensed healthcare practitioners, who discuss test results with the customer and provide personalized health recommendations.
Support services often include helpful FAQs, articles, videos, a live chat, and medical consultations online or over the phone.
Additional services may encompass such features as nutrition and fitness recommendations, a mobile application, a dashboard or account where the customer can see their health trends and test results, and online prescription services.
What's important to know about Blood Tests?
- Why use an online blood test?
- How do online blood tests work?
- Do I have to draw my own blood for an online test?
- What should I do with my online blood test results?
- How long will it take to get my online blood test results?
- Are online blood tests less or more expensive than lab tests?
- How accurate are online blood tests?
- What does fasting mean for an online blood test?
- How are my online blood test results processed?
Why use an online blood test?
Using an online blood test service can be an easy and relatively inexpensive way for consumers to monitor their health. By removing the middleman, online blood tests can offer considerable savings as opposed to doctor-mandated lab work, although reputable websites always have medical professionals verify each test result before issuing them.
People from many different walks of life can find uses for ordering their own blood tests, from professional athletes to people at risk of certain congenital diseases. Even your average Jane or Joe can benefit from a blood test, as they can use the results to implement changes in their nutrition, exercise levels, and overall health.
For instance, people cutting red meat out of their diet due to a family history of heart disease would do well to check their cholesterol both before making the change and six months after, to accurately measure the difference. Look at it this way: an online blood test you order yourself can function the same way as a scheduled check-up of your car's engine, alerting you to potentially problematic situations in the future.
How do online blood tests work?
Online blood tests work by allowing consumers to order their tests online. They then either provide their own blood sample or visit a participating clinic to get their blood drawn. The customer sends their sample to the address provided, and then merely waits for their results.
Customers can usually choose between test packages or individual tests, depending on what they are looking to monitor.
Do I have to draw my own blood for an online test?
Online blood testing companies take two approaches to obtaining samples, which will depend on the sample volume required and the type of test the customer requests. For simple or single tests, a small fingerprick is enough to collect an adequate sample. In other cases, companies require that their customers visit a lab or collection center to obtain a larger blood sample.
What should I do with my online blood test results?
Online blood test results can be used in a multitude of ways. Customers can compare their results with reference values, and determine which areas are higher or lower than the average. If their results fall outside of the expected values, this can point to potential conditions, diseases, or necessary lifestyle changes. Though medical professionals do look at online blood test results before they're even sent to the customer, and many sites offer consultations to help understand and interpret results, we recommend that consumers whose results fall outside the average range consult their primary physician as soon as possible. Always meet with a professional before attempting to self-diagnose a condition.
How long will it take to get my online blood test results?
Online blood test results usually take 24-48 hours after the testing facility receives the sample. However, mail times will affect this timeline, and each company offers different average results times.
Are online blood tests less or more expensive than lab tests?
Since online blood test services cut out the doctor or middleman, they can generally offer tests at more competitive prices. That can be especially helpful for the uninsured, or people whose co-pays and deductibles are too expensive for their budget. It must be said that online blood tests are meant for informative purposes only, not to diagnose serious conditions. If you think your results may indicate a serious health problem, get in touch with your physician as soon as possible, and don't attempt to self-diagnose.
How accurate are online blood tests?
Online blood tests are just as accurate as doctor-mandated lab tests. They're processed in many of the same facilities, and the only real difference is that customers don't need a doctor to request one, and can order whichever tests they please.
What does fasting mean for an online blood test?
If your online blood test service instructs you to fast for a specified period before getting a sample taken, you should ingest no food or beverages other than water. Indeed, it's best to drink sufficient water before having your blood drawn, making sure your body is properly hydrated.
How are my online blood test results processed?
Online blood tests are processed the same way as doctor-mandated ones. After collection, blood samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis by technicians, who first put the samples in a centrifuge to separate the blood into its components. Finally, the sample is processed and subjected to the requested tests. Results are then logged in a document, along with average ranges for each data point. In a regular lab setting, this document would then be printed and given to the patient, who would take it to his or her doctor for interpretation. In the case of online blood testing, results are emailed to the customer rather than hand-delivered. It's essential to make sure that your blood test service follows privacy and HIPAA policies, and guarantees they won't share your information or results with anybody unless you explicitly authorize them to do so.