When I consider the hullaballoo that home pregnancy tests had created back in 1977, I am bemused to see that nowadays people take home medical tests for granted. The market for home medical tests like home A1C test is growing fast due to the economic and hassle free method that they provide. There are tests available for everything from sexually transmitted disease to high cholesterol and more. However, here I have done some research of my own and found that although some of the home use tests like those meant for diabetes are excellent for controlling the ailment; some tests are proven to give false results. Hence it is wise not to make health decisions based solely on these home based tests. The one good factor of home tests is that the person using them gets anonymity, but still, it is advisable not to depend on them for serious ailments like HIV which can also put others at risk.
Let us look at the home based tests which I would recommend to use. The others should be either used with caution or be avoided entirely.
Blood glucose monitors
These tests are widely available and recommended by doctors also. These blood glucose monitors which can be used at home are handy for people who are suffering from diabetes. You can closely monitor your blood sugar levels and make adjustments to your diet, medication and other aspects of treatment accordingly. These home-use blood glucose monitors are particularly useful for people who have type 1 diabetes. Nowadays it is also possible to continuously monitor your blood sugar level with a sensor implanted under the skin which takes regular glucose readings. These readings are sent to a wearable monitor which can alert the patient to any problematic changes. However, I feel that the latter is only necessary when the patient has very high diabetes and fluctuating sugar levels.
Blood pressure monitors
These devices are very useful for people trying to manage hypertension. If you can regularly track your blood pressure at home, it can help you and your doctor to make decisions about treatment like adjusting medicine dosage or changing the medicines. Blood pressure levels are routinely checked when you visit the doctor it is better to take an average of several readings over a longer period. This will provide a closer approximation of the actual blood pressure level of the patient.
Wrist monitors and Automatic arm are the most popular methods to measure blood pressure at home. Wrist monitors are smaller and more comfortable, but they are less accurate than the arms monitors. Devices that take readings at the finger are even lesser reliable and should be avoided.
I have found home pregnancy tests also to be reliable, as they measure the level of the hormone Human Chorionic gonadotropin or HCG. This is a hormone released by, the placenta with levels typically doubling every 48 to 72 hours during the first two weeks of pregnancy. The difference between home tests and lab tests is that the lab tests, measure the level of this hormone in the blood rather than the urine like home pregnancy tests. This is the reason that lab tests are more reliable and accurate.