Pager, the Uber for home health care, has offered testing for sexually transmitted diseases since it began operating in New York City. This service was not prominently featured in their advertising, however.
“We wanted people to realize it was something we could help them do,” Dr. Jasper Schmidt, Pager’s medical director, told the Observer. “It was something people wanted for privacy reasons. But we weren’t sure if we should let the service be organic or market it independently.”
Since June 27 is National HIV Testing Day, however, the company decided to publicize the service this week. Pager offers testing for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, urinary tract infections and hepatitis B and C.
“It was a good time to let people know the option was there,” Dr. Schmidt said.
Each test is customized for the patient’s needs—some tests which require a urine sample or rectal or throat swab can be performed by the patient themselves, and physicians can draw blood samples if necessary.
No matter the type of test or infection, however, a Pager doctor or nurse comes to the patient’s home to collect the sample—the bodily fluid is stored inside a sterile container and transported directly to a LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics lab.
Dr. John Papp, epidemiologist in the Division of STD Prevention for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Observer that safe home testing procedures like these were valuable tools in the fight against STDs.
“With an estimated 20 million new STDs acquired in the U.S. each year it is important to develop new and rapid ways to test for these infections so that effective treatment can be administered without delay,” Dr. Papp said in an email. “CDC supports safe, effective innovation for diagnosing STDs.”