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Direct to Consumer Laboratory Testing: A Review

“Direct to consumer laboratory testing also known as direct access testing (DAT), permits consumers to order laboratory tests directly from a laboratory without necessarily having to work with their healthcare provide”. As early as the 1950s the public was introduced to the concept of being directly involved in their healthcare, and this was accomplished with the availability of over the counter (OTC) urine glucose and ketone tests. Healthcare has shifted from being physicianfocused to being consumer-focused, DAT is one manifestation of this shift and it has been steadily growing since its establishment in the 1950s. “The market for direct-to consumer (DTC) health services continues to grow rapidly with former patients converting to customers for the opportunity to purchase varied diagnostic tests without the involvement of their clinician.” The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) has also developed the Consumer Information Webpage (CIW), in 1999, to meet the enquiring needs of consumers, as many desired detailed explanations of their test results. The page is monitored by a team of trained volunteers who respond to the concerns and questions of patients or consumers.


Fabian Pitkin, Lee-Ann Watson, Romario Foster, Terry-Ann Poorman and Annalee Martin

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