HOUSTON – Lab Tests Online, the world’s leading website for patient health literacy on laboratory testing, is pleased to announce that it has reached a major milestone—serving its 150 millionth visitor.
According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, nearly nine out of 10 adults have difficulty using the health information currently provided by U.S. healthcare facilities, retail outlets, media, and communities. Not surprisingly, researchers have also found a connection between this lack of “health literacy,” poorer health, and higher healthcare costs.
By educating patients about lab tests, Lab Tests Online strives to improve health literacy and empower patients to make informed medical decisions. The website was launched in 2001 in the United States by AACC in collaboration with four other laboratory associations. In the 12 years since, that collaboration has grown to include 16 other laboratory organizations, and Lab Tests Online has become an international initiative, with 12 national versions operating in Europe, as well as in Brazil, China, Korea, and Australia. The original site receives 2 million visits per month, and is used primarily by patients but also by healthcare professionals.
AACC also offers a mobile app that increases accessibility to Lab Tests Online’s content by downloading it directly to the device. The U.S. version is available for 99 cents through iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Kindle Store. It has been downloaded more than 8,000 times. The Australian version of the app surpassed 3,500 downloads in June, just 8 months after its launch in November 2012. A U.K. version of the app launched in May and has already been downloaded more than 2,000 times.
“I’m so grateful for the mere fact that I can look at Lab Tests Online and I will be able to be more conversant when I go in and talk to someone at the local women’s health clinic,” said Sarah, a Lab Tests Online user in Charlotte, N.C., (name changed to protect her privacy) who is researching tests that could guide treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Because she reacts badly to the anti-depressants traditionally used to treat PMDD, Sarah hopes the information from Lab Tests Online will help her work with a doctor to find an alternative hormone-based therapy. “When I see a healthcare provider, I can’t say, ‘I was looking online’ or I’ll get shut down. But if I cite Lab Tests Online and say, ‘Here are the people that are collaborating on this website,’ I’m going to get a lot farther.”
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of breaking laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit www.aacc.org.