HealthCheck

High tech gadgets make medical tests easier

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tired of standing in line to get basic medical tests? There are two new machines that will take your tests in minutes, and one of them is free.

Christina Sherman needed a blood test, but instead of standing in line at a lab and waiting for the results, she skipped all that -- and even the needle. She did it with a tiny machine and a finger clip.

"I was all for it," she said. "I was open to try anything new and quick."

Doctors at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women are using the new technology with their gynecology and obstetrics patients.

"You've got to stand in line get the blood drawn, so it takes at least a day for us to get the result back," Dr. Wanda Mott said. "Right now we get it in 45 seconds."

Over at Kroger pharmacies there's a machine that tells you almost more than you want to know about your body. I tested my body fat. In minutes I learned not only my body fat composition, my weight, BMI and that I needed to drink more water. My hydration index was negative.

Kroger Clinical Care Coordinator Debbie Veselka said, "If you're negative in that range, it's looking for ways to hydrate a little bit more."

The Kroger biometric screening machine also lets you test your color vision. Of course there's the blood pressure test that people are familiar with. It takes about five to eight minutes to take all the tests or you can choose the ones you need. It's free, and one of the best things is that it allows people to track their readings, including their glucose meter information so they can take them to the doctor.

"It's an easy, accessible and affordable center to use to make people's ability to track themselves so much easier," Veselka said.

You can find the free biometric screening machines in all 100 Houston area Kroger's pharmacies. It will be in all 2,400 stores nationally next year.

The needle-less hemoglobin test is being used in adults now at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, but the obvious group that will benefit is children, and that's likely to happen in the future.

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