Self-directed health: At-home lab testing 29. March 2009 William Davis (20) I have a prediction. I predict that more and more healthcare can and will be obtained directly by the individual--without doctors, without hospitals, without the corrupt profit-at-any-costs modus operandi of the pharmaceutical industry. I predict that, given the right tools, Joe or Jane Q. Public will have the choice to manage his or her own health using tools that are directly accessible, tools that include direct-to-consumer medical imaging (CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, etc.), nutritional supplements (a loosely-defined term, to our advantage), and direct-to-consumer laboratory testing. Done responsibly, self-directed healthcare is superior to healthcare from your doctor. While no one expects you to remove your own gallbladder, you can manage cholesterol, blood sugar issues, vitamin D, low thyroid, and others--better than your doctor.As everyone becomes more comfortable with the notion of self-directed health, you will see new services appear that help individuals manage their health. You will see prices for direct-to-consumer medical imaging and lab testing drop due to competition, something that doesn't happen in current insurance-based healthcare delivery. People are being exposed to larger deductibles and/or draw money from a medical savings account and will seek more cost advantages. Such direct-to-consumer competitive pricing will meet those needs. Overall, the presently unsustainable cost of healthcare will decline. To help accelerate the shift of human healthcare away from conventional paths and divert it towards the individual, we have launched a panel of direct-to-consumer at-home laboratory tests that we are making available on the Track Your Plaque website. On your own (except in California, which requires a doctor's order or prescription; and NY, the only state in the nation that prohibits entirely), you can now test, in the comfort of your own home with no laboratory blood draw required, parameters including: --Thyroid tests--Free T3, free T4, TSH--Lipids--C-reactive protein--Vitamin D--Testosterone--Progesteroneand others. As the technology improves, more tests will become available for testing at home. (Lipoproteins are not yet available, but will probably be available within the next few years. That would be an enormous boon to those of us interested in supercharged heart disease prevention and reversal.) Anyone interested in our at-home testing can just go to the Track Your Plaque lab test Marketplace. When I first began the Track Your Plaque program around 8 years ago, I saw it as a way for people to learn how to control or reverse coronary atherosclerotic plaque, and I'd hoped that physicians would begin to see the light and become patient advocates in this process. But I have lost hope that most of my colleagues are interested in becoming your advocate in health. They are too locked into the "call me when you hurt" mentality. I now see Track Your Plaque as a way for people to seize control over coronary plaque with minimal assistance from their doctors. Indeed, some of our Members have achieved reduction of their plaque in spite of their doctors. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what's to come. Brace yourself for a cataclysmic shift in returning health to you and away from those who would profit from your misfortune.