It’s been more than 35 years since the original at-home pregnancy tests came on the market. Since then, there has been a surge of home-testing options, driven by a fervid interest in wellness, expediency, cost-efficiency, convenience, and the ease made possible by technology.
The technology behind at-home diagnostics
Rapid test results came to fruition through lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA). Immunoassay is a technique to analyze and measure concentrated substances, such as antibodies and hormones. Lateral flow immunoassay is a diagnostic device that can be configured to work with a variety of liquid samples, including blood, urine, serum, and saliva. Lateral flow devices (LFDs) can take on different forms that are compact and simple to employ, such as a dipstick or a housed cassette. LFDs are engineered to be intuitive and can be operated with little training, so testing can be performed by a patient at home as easily as a technician in a laboratory or a health care practitioner in a clinic.