A new capillary sample collection test is being launched at select pharmacies this year to make blood testing less invasive and more accessible for patients.

By Andy Lundin

Summary: Pharmacies are playing an increasingly important role in the discussion of patient-centered care, highlighted by the upcoming BetterWay capillary sample collection device, designed to streamline blood testing processes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Babson Diagnostics’ BetterWay test addresses growing demand for personalized and minimally invasive testing, aligning with patients’ expectations for convenience and accessibility.
  • Pharmacies are central to a shift toward patient-centered diagnostics, serving as key locations for the distribution and administration of new testing solutions.
  • BetterWay’s automated sample preparation process is designed to minimize human error, ensuring high-quality results and enhancing reliability.

The ever-evolving landscape of clinical diagnostics has made convenience and accessibility more or less a necessary part of health care testing. Patients are now seeking access to solutions that are not only more personalized but also less invasive. 

This shift in the public expectations of testing has put pharmacies in a pivotal position in these new patient-centered discussions on diagnostics, and the upcoming launch of a new blood testing solution has shined a spotlight on this trend.

Diagnostic Testing at Pharmacies

Health tech company Babson Diagnostics recently announced the upcoming launch of a capillary sample collection device, BetterWay. The device, which is being launched at retail pharmacies and allows healthcare workers to collect a high-quality, pea-sized amount of blood with a simple fingerstick, is designed to produce results equivalent to traditional blood testing.

“Today’s consumers have lofty expectations for service, and healthcare often lags in meeting these expectations,” says Eric Olson, founder, COO, and chairman of Babson Diagnostics. “The philosophy behind BetterWay blood testing service is that we put our customers at the center of everything we do. “

To initiate its journey of developing a customer-focused solution, Babson is launching BetterWay with H-E-B, a large independently owned supermarket chain, and two independent pharmacies in metro-Austin, Texas, this July, where the company is headquartered.

Streamlining the Testing Process

The capillary blood test—which the company has been developing since 2016—includes a microsample preparation device and pre-coded microsample tubes that eliminate the need for the pharmacy team to label and prepare samples. 

“Sample tubes are pre-barcoded and scanned to ensure chain of custody before being placed into the Babson automated sample preparation device,” Olson says. “This unique device automates all preanalytics and reduces the potential for human error. It tracks the sample to make sure it’s clotted for the right amount of time and then automates the centrifugation process.”

The company emphasized the significance of automation, noting that manual handling and preparation in conventional testing can introduce human error that impacts sample quality.

With the test, clinicians can place orders for testing used for patient care, diagnosis, and treatment, and clinician-ordered testing is eligible for insurance coverage, according to Babson. Customers can also order tests directly.

The Significance of Collaboration in the Clinical Space

In addition to its partnerships with pharmacies, the company’s collaborative history played a crucial role in the development of the BetterWay test. In 2016, Babson Diagnostics worked with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to create a capillary sample collection device. 

This partnership is still fundamental to the organization, as BD’s MiniDraw Capillary Blood Collection System is used to enable a trained healthcare worker to collect the high-quality sample of blood from the fingertip. The Babson Hand Warmer was created to support capillary collection with the BD MiniDraw.

“BetterWay blood testing results from years of work, numerous clinical studies, and strong partnerships,” says Olson. “Babson Diagnostics has an exclusive strategic partnership with BD and is uniquely able to miniaturize assays on the Siemens Attelica platform.”

Looking forward, Babson says it is in discussions with other retail pharmacies to expand BetterWay nationwide.