10 At-Home Health Tests that Use Dried Blood Spot Cards

At-Home Diagnostic Testing

10 At-Home Health Tests that Use Dried Blood Spot Cards

Ash Team

Dried blood spot (DBS) cards are revolutionizing at-home health testing, offering a convenient and accessible way to monitor various health markers from the comfort of home. In this blog, we explore the basics of DBS cards and delve into 10 at-home health tests that utilize this technology. From screening for infectious diseases to measuring hormone levels and assessing nutritional status, DBS cards are paving the way for proactive healthcare management. 

What is a dried blood spot card?

A dried blood spot (DBS) card is a small, filter paper card used to collect a blood sample for laboratory analysis. The card typically consists of a piece of absorbent filter paper mounted on a rigid backing card. 

Here is how it works:

  1. Blood Collection: A small amount of blood (usually a few drops) is collected from a finger prick or lancet and applied directly onto the designated area of the filter paper card.
  2. Drying: The blood spot on the DBS card is allowed to air dry completely at room temperature. During this process, the blood is absorbed into the filter paper and becomes immobilized.
  3. Storage: Once dried, the DBS card can be stored at room temperature until it is ready to be transported to the laboratory for analysis. Proper storage conditions ensure the stability of the blood sample for testing.
  4. Transportation: DBS cards are lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport. They can be shipped via regular mail or courier services without the need for special handling or refrigeration.
  5. Laboratory Analysis: In the laboratory, the dried blood spot on the DBS card is punched out and extracted for analysis using various techniques, such as immunoassays, mass spectrometry, or molecular testing. The extracted blood sample is then tested for specific analytes or biomarkers, depending on the intended purpose of the test.

Dried blood spot cards are commonly used for a wide range of diagnostic tests, including screening for infectious diseases, measuring hormone levels, assessing nutritional status, and monitoring drug levels. They offer several advantages over traditional blood collection methods, including ease of use, stability of samples, and suitability for remote or at-home health testing.

At-Home Tests that Use DBS Cards


DBS testing provides a discreet way to test for HIV, allowing patients to maintain their privacy throughout the testing process. For patients who may face barriers to accessing traditional HIV testing services, such as stigma or geographic distance, dried blood spot card testing offers a convenient alternative that can be performed anywhere with minimal equipment.


Dried blood spot cards for HbA1c testing offers a convenient, accurate, and accessible way to monitor long-term blood glucose control, empowering patients with diabetes to better manage their condition and improve their overall health outcomes. Health plans can also use DBS cards for population screening and to meet HEDIS and Star requirements related to diabetes. 

Learn more about how at-home HbA1c testing can boost quality scores. 

Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death globally, accounting for over 17.9 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). DBS testing allows for remote monitoring of heart health markers over time, enabling patients and healthcare providers to track changes in risk factors and adjust treatment plans as needed.

Liver Function

At-home health testing allows for the early detection of liver diseases such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis, which enables prompt treatment and management to prevent complications and disease progression. For patients with liver disease, testing is essential for monitoring the effectiveness of treatment interventions, including medication therapy, lifestyle modifications, and dietary changes.

Kidney Function 

Dried blood spot cards offer a convenient alternative to phlebotomy when testing for kidney function. Health plans can use the results of kidney function screening to track performance metrics related to preventive care and chronic disease management. By implementing quality improvement initiatives based on screening data, health plans can improve quality scores, achieve accreditation standards, and demonstrate commitment to member health.

Hepatitis C

DBS testing can contribute to public health efforts to eliminate Hep C by increasing screening rates and identifying undiagnosed cases of infection. Early detection and treatment of Hep C not only improve individual health outcomes but also help reduce the overall burden of Hep C in communities and prevent transmission to others.


There are many hormone tests providers can run on DBS cards, including perimenopausal tests, basic hormone tests for patients assigned male at birth or female at birth, and other fertility biomarkers. Abnormal hormone levels may indicate hormonal imbalances or underlying health conditions that require further evaluation and management.


Dried blood spot cards can screen for multiple kinds of allergies, such as those for foods and environmental contagions. DBS testing can be performed in various settings, including healthcare facilities, research laboratories, and even at-home health testing kits, making allergy screening more accessible to a wider population. It can also be used as part of food as medicine programs. 

Read more about how at-home health tests can contribute to food as medicine initiatives. 

Vitamin D

Screening for vitamin D deficiency using DBS cards allows for the early detection of low vitamin D levels, which can help prevent the development of vitamin D deficiency-related health conditions, such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.


Thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can have significant impacts on health if left untreated. DBS card testing allows for the early detection of thyroid problems by measuring thyroid hormone levels in the blood. Early diagnosis enables prompt intervention and management, preventing the progression of thyroid disorders and reducing the risk of complications.

Dried blood spot card testing from Ash Wellness 

Ash Wellness partners with health plans, digital health companies, accountable care organizations, and public health departments to launch and manage screening efforts for diverse patient populations. Our all-encompassing solution offers a range of services, from customizable API-first and white-label platform to kitting services, provider network management, lab contracting, and testing. With a steadfast dedication to data security, privacy, and effortless integration with existing healthcare infrastructures, Ash Wellness stands out as the top choice for clients to effectively deploy at-home health testing.

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