Interested in taking lab testing into your own hands? With Everlywell, you can test aspects of your wellness with our easy, at-home sample collection process. Here’s a step-by-step look at how it works – and why so many people love the ease, speed, and convenience of Everlywell at home lab tests.
Let’s kick things off by taking a look at Step #1.
When you order an Everlywell kit, it’s shipped directly to the address you provide, and the kit usually arrives within 3-5 business days. You don’t need to visit the doctor’s office – or a lab – to take the test; you can do it all at home.
As you can imagine, testing at home saves you a lot of time (and effort) – which is why people say things like this about the Everlywell test process:
“Doesn't get more convenient than having a test show up at your house and then being able to get the results within a week of taking the blood sample. Also, they have a great online user interface for seeing the results. I ended up finding that my vitamin D levels were very low as expected (problems of living so far up north). Going to take a test every month while I introduce supplements to find what dosing is needed to get my levels within a healthy range.”
You’ll open your kit to start the test-taking process. Inside the box, you’ll find easy-to-follow directions for taking your test, and everything you need comes with the kit.
After opening the kit, you’ll register your test online (each kit has a unique ID number). This links the test to your account on the secure online platform where your results will appear (which will happen in Step #6).
Once you’ve registered your kit, you’ll have the option to watch videos to walk you through the sample collection process.
Depending on the test you order, you’ll need to collect a blood, saliva, vaginal swab, and/or urine sample.
Everlywell tests measure a variety of biomarkers in your body so you can better understand different aspects of your wellness. LDL cholesterol is an example of a biomarker (it can help predict heart disease risk), but there are many more. Biomarkers exist in different parts of the body – including your blood, saliva, and urine.
The kit you receive includes everything you need to collect a sample that you’ll then send to a laboratory for testing. If the kit requires a blood sample, for example, you’ll find lancets in the kit to prick your finger to drop a few blood drops onto the designated spots on the collection card.
Click the links below to learn more about Everlywell at-home sample collection tools for:
Laboratories do not need full vials of blood to carry out many types of tests. Thus, a laboratory will often run a test using only a small fraction of the blood that was drawn from your vein. (The rest of the blood sample frequently goes to waste – or is never used for the test.)
Everlywell blood-based tests use a well-established collection method called “dried blood spot.” This way of collecting a blood sample is technologically quite different than a typical blood draw (and requires very little blood). And – like all sample collection methods our tests use – this method meets scientifically rigorous standards of reliability and validity.
So, Everlywell tests are as accurate as a laboratory test your doctor might use – plus they’re very easy to take. Here’s how one Everlywell test-taker puts it:
“I was apprehensive at first because I’ve never done blood testing at home, but Everlywell made the process so simple, easy to understand, and overall was purely seamless. I’m a visual person, so the fact that they have video tutorials made my thyroid test even better to take. The test shipped quickly, and I received my results in about a week...I’m such a huge fan now, and will continue empowering my own health journey through Everlywell tests!”
Once you’ve collected your sample, you’ll seal it inside a biohazard bag. You’re now ready to send your sample in for a laboratory analysis!
Inside each kit is all the material you’ll need to send your sample to one of the labs we use for testing, including a prepaid shipping label. You’ll just slip your sample into the unused mailer that comes with the kit, apply the shipping label, and drop it in the mail.
Note that mailing supplies are located at the very bottom of the kit box, underneath a cardboard divider.
The lab will process your sample once it arrives. To make sure your sample receives the highest-quality lab testing, Everlywell only uses CLIA-certified laboratories.
What is a CLIA-certified lab? CLIA is an acronym for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments. These are federal regulatory standards that apply to any clinical lab that does testing on human samples (not including research labs) .
The CLIA program sets standards of quality for laboratory testing. Three different federal agencies head this program : the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Also, many of the labs we use are accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) – the gold standard for laboratory testing quality. And each of the labs undergo regular third-party proficiency testing through CAP or other well-respected organizations.
Once the lab receives your sample, you’ll receive your results online within 5 business days (in general).
Before your results are released, a physician – from a partner physician network that specializes in lab testing follow-ups – will review your results. If a test result is concerning because a biomarker value is dangerously out-of-range, or a “critical value,” a team member from this network will call you to let you know. (HbA1c – a measure of blood sugar levels – is an example of a biomarker that can be dangerously out-of-range.)
Another example of an out-of-range marker is a detected STD on our 6-panel STD test. In the case of our sexual health tests, physicians in our network are actually able to prescribe medication for positive results on certain tests if you are located in any of these 47 states.
Next, an email notification will let you know your results are ready. You can then check your results on our secure online platform.
You can choose to download your results in PDF format – as well as download (and print out) a “doctor’s version” of your results you can share with your health care provider.
Everlywell puts wellness testing in your hands – on your time and on your terms – and our wide variety of at home lab tests lets you explore and approach many aspects of your body’s well-being. So if you’re interested in home lab testing with Everlywell, consider looking through all our tests here.