In most minds, the concept of “blood work” conjures up an image of a long needle, a search for a prospective vein, a slightly painful entry, and a ~30-second wait until the proper volume of whole blood is extracted. The blood is either analyzed immediately or is placed in a refrigerator until a technician can perform an analysis at some future time.
In most cases, the patient must travel to a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office to have the bulk blood specimen drawn. The experience can be time-consuming and stressful.
If samples are taken in a remote locale, the material must undergo complicated packaging, surrounded by dry ice, and labeled according to shipper’s instructions. The outer case must be marked as a hazardous material and, therefore, requires special handling by the carrier.
What is Microsampling?
Microsampling means extracting a small, fixed amount of blood or other biological fluid. This new method achieves higher levels of accuracy than the Dried Blood Samples (DBS) that have been useful as an alternative to traditional whole blood sampling.
With minimal training, microsamples may be self-drawn by patients at their home or another locale using a specially-designed Mitra™ Microsampler. Patients in remote areas may submit the blood samples in the Mitra Microsampler from locations where clinics and hospitals are simply too far away for easy access.
Why Does Microsampling Matter?
Microsampling offers many benefits over the traditional bulky and fragile liquid blood sampling procedure. Some of these benefits are:
- It's minimally invasive, which reduces patient stress.
- Donors who are not able to come to a clinic, hospital, or office regularly can submit samples more easily. As a result, health irregularities can be diagnosed sooner, and treatment can be prescribed. Doctors can continually monitor progress.
- For patients with existing conditions, repetitive visits to the doctor or clinic to draw blood samples may not be required.
- The cost of sending smaller dried specimens by mail or courier is far less than with liquid blood samples.
Additionally, healthcare facilities, resources, and personnel are less taxed with routine functions and may focus on other essential activities.