Online Blood Work: No Doctor’s Visit Required

A wave of online blood labs, including Wellness FX and DirectLabs, and are changing the way consumers diagnose, understand and treat their own health concerns. And users, like me, can do it all without sitting in waiting rooms, removing their pants or incurring expensive bills for routine wellness checks.

They work like this: A user selects and pays for a blood test, which range from basic heart and nutrient health to detailed diagnostics of metabolic functions and reproductive hormones. Prices start at $30 for basic tests analyzing for factors like blood sugar and basic thyroid function, to over $1,000 for tests examining reproductive hormones and inflammation markers. Health insurance isn’t required.

Once a test has been ordered, users schedule an appointment at a local testing center, such as LabCorp. Blood is pulled, and then the results are emailed and uploaded to the user’s account a day later.

While WellnessFX officials are quick to note that “every test is ordered and results are reviewed and interpreted by a licensed physician,” I tested the site and didn’t interact with a doctor at all during my experience. I did see a physician’s name on the blood order and assume he looked at my results before emailing them to me.