SERVING CONSUMERS INTERESTED IN ORDERING THEIR OWN CLINICAL LABORATORY TESTS is a goal in an expanded collaboration involving Quest Diagnostics and Walmart. This is also consistent with The Dark Report’s prediction that retail pharmacies are poised to expand the diagnostic testing services they offer to customers.
The development gives Quest a greater chance to meet patients online while also capitalizing on the growing familiarity of consumer-initiated testing, said Cathy Doherty, Senior Vice President and Group Executive of Clinical Franchise Solutions and Marketing at Quest.
$2 Billion Market Opportunity
“The consumer-initiated testing market is poised for breakout growth,” Doherty told The Dark Report via comments provided through Quest’s communications office. “We expect this market will continue to evolve and grow over the next five years. We have done our best to size it, and we estimate that consumer-initiated testing overall could be a $2 billion market.”
The new agreement builds on the Quest–Walmart relationship that began with a pilot program involving 15 Walmart stores in Florida and Texas starting in 2017. Under the new agreement, Quest in Secaucus, N.J., will offer more than 50 different tests for online ordering.
The tests to be offered will be for digestive health, allergies, heart health, women’s health, sexually-transmitted disease, and infectious disease. Consumers purchase tests via a website (walmartquestdirect.questdiagnostics.com). The orders are reviewed and, if found to be medically necessary, ordered by a physician. Depending on the test, consumers either receive at-home collection kits or are prompted to schedule an appointment at a Quest location or at certain Walmart pharmacies.
The service also includes access to a telehealth provider for an explanation of test results and prescriptions, if needed. “We recognize the value of the patient/physician relationship and have worked with physicians to ensure we offer consumers a responsible menu of tests that can be incorporated into a physician-directed health and wellness plan,” Doherty explained.
Doherty added that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic accelerated the trend of consumers taking more initiative for how they manage their own healthcare. However, she emphasized that trend was building well before the onset of the pandemic.
Labcorp Home Testing
In related news, Labcorp in Burlington, N.C., announced on Feb. 4 that it launched its own direct-to-consumer testing program. Consumers can order tests online, collect samples at home, and schedule test appointments at Labcorp patient centers, including at Walgreens locations.
These moves by the nation’s two largest laboratory companies show that they see opportunity in serving the growing number of consumers who want to manage their healthcare needs.
Contact Cathy Doherty at 866-697-8378.