At-Home Diagnostic Testing
Which is best? Dried blood spot testing vs Tasso
Dried blood spot testing and blood collection from a Tasso device are comparable methods of at-home diagnostic testing. In both cases, patients self-collect blood samples at home and mail them to labs for assessment by technicians. We discuss how dried blood spot testing and Tasso work, where they differ, and answer common questions on risks and benefits.
How does dried blood spot testing work?
Blood spot testing screens for illnesses with capillary blood collected and dried on a paper card (DBS card). Medical providers or digital health companies mail the card and other collection materials to patients’ homes in a collection kit. Patients use a retractable incision device to prick a finger and deposit drops of blood onto the DBS card. After the blood is dry, patients mail the card to a lab where technicians extract target analytes and analyze samples against markers to determine results. This sampling method is often performed outside care facilities and at home.
How does Tasso blood collection work?
Tasso blood collection works when a patient sticks a Tasso Button to his/her/their skin with an adhesive. The patient presses the button, which forms a vacuum as a lancet pricks the skin, drawing capillary blood into a container attached to the bottom of the Tasso Button. These blood samples are shipped to a lab for analysis.
Is dried blood spot testing accurate?
Dried blood spot testing is accurate and increasingly preferred to phlebotomy as a method for collecting biomarkers in whole blood. It is appropriate for use in adult patients, pediatric patients, and neonatal patients. DBS cards can be used to screen for HIV, allergies, cancers, comprehensive metabolic panels, fertility markers, and more. This type of testing is monitored by CLIA and CAP.
Is a Tasso+ device FDA approved?
Tasso has FDA 510(k) clearance for the Tasso+ device. This means the device may be marketed as safe and effective.
What are the risks and benefits of dried blood spot testing?
The World Health Organization recommends the use of DBS cards for HIV and hepatitis B and C diagnosis for people living in low-income settings. DBS cards are often utilized in resource-limited settings or as part of the systematic screening of newborns.
Benefits for public health organizations include the ability to screen hard-to-reach populations without the otherwise difficult transport of bodily fluids, as well as reduced storage and shipping costs. For patients, the blood spot testing is less invasive than phlebotomy and useful as part of long-term medication maintenance for drugs such as PrEP, which requires regular HIV and creatinine screening. Noted risks include contamination or exposure of DBS cards if not properly dried or stored, but such risks are mitigated with additional secure packaging.
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What are the risks and benefits of Tasso?
Tasso has similar benefits to dried blood spot testing. It is intended for self-collection by patients outside a medical setting, and therefore may be useful in screening hard-to-reach or vulnerable patient populations. Similar to phlebotomy, there is risk of bruising or soreness at the site of use. There is also a minor risk of infection and fainting and possible allergic reaction to the Tasso Button adhesive.
Who uses dried blood spot testing and Tasso?
Both Tasso and dried blood spot testing are applicable in many use cases. Tasso markets products for decentralized clinical trials, population studies, and investigational pediatrics. DBS card tests are utilized by public health entities, traditional medical institutions, digital health companies, and can also be used for population screening and clinical trials.
Dried blood spot testing and Tasso devices serve similar purposes with comparable risks and benefits. Both are methods of accurate at-home diagnostic testing wherein patients self-collect a sample at home, mail it to the lab, the lab runs analyses, and clinical staff receives results. Tasso is a newer technology, whereas the process of collecting biological fluids on special “filter” paper is at least one hundred years old. Since Tasso is branded, dried blood spot testing may be preferred by digital health companies who use white-labeled test kits to access customers.
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