Heritage Labs launches home diabetes test kit
13 August 2008
US laboratory services company Heritage Labs has introduced a home testing kit for diabetics. The Appraise Home A1c Kit is a new at-home consumer product that measures the average blood glucose level of diabetics and potential diabetics.
The kit provides consumers with an inexpensive and easy-to-use blood test that the company says produces accurate and reliable test results equivalent to whole-blood tests collected in doctors' surgeries. It is designed to be safely and easily completed in the privacy of one's home and mailed to the lab. Results are delivered online or in the mail within a few days.
The test is available in the US at many retail locations where it is marketed as the Reli-On A1C Test and under Heritage Labs' Appraise brand.
"The home testing market has significantly expanded in recent years as more consumers seek to control their healthcare costs," said Roy H Bubbs, President and CEO of Hooper Holmes. "This is a natural area of opportunity for us, as we operate one of the most efficient, high quality labs in the country that is also an FDA-approved manufacturer of collection kits."
The Appraise Home A1c Kit is an alternative to time-consuming doctor visits or expensive lab blood draws. Tests are processed at Heritage Labs' Kansas City headquarters. Results are available over a secure website in as little as three days.
Hemoglobin is found inside red blood cells, and like all proteins, links up with sugars such as glucose. The more excess glucose in a person's blood, the more glucose links up with haemoglobin and the more A1c (also known as glycated haemoglobin or HbA1c) will be found. The A1c test measures a person's average blood glucose level for the past few months and suggests how well a diabetes treatment plan is working. Although the A1C test is an important tool, it does not replace the daily self-testing of blood glucose.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends regular measurement of A1c levels in all diabetics. Just as cholesterol levels are used to predict the risk of developing heart disease, the A1c value can predict the risk of developing many of the chronic complications associated with diabetes.