Since its launch in 2001, AACC’s Lab Tests Online (LTO) has been a reliable source of health information for the general public, serving more than 325 million users globally. Now, this resource has a new look after undergoing an 18-month redesign to improve its functionality and make it more mobile-friendly.

“LTO is recognized as a leading and trusted resource for empowering patients and the public. Its resources are intended to help patients navigate the testing process, provide context for the tests they may have had done, and promote better understanding of their test results,” Shannon Haymond, director for clinical chemistry and mass spectrometry at Lurie Children’s in Chicago and a member of LTO’s editorial review board, told CLN Stat.

Healthcare professionals also look to LTO to learn about lab tests and associated conditions, Haymond said. “Beyond educating on specific tests and conditions, LTO provides general information on the field of laboratory medicine and highlights the contributions we make to patient care,” she said.

The new LTO went livein the United States and internationally in late 2017, offering an improved article layout and new user-friendly tools such as image galleries. “Content is now organized as a single page for a given topic versus different pages linked by tabs, and that additional content is revealed on demand (so more or less is shown, depending on the user needs). This makes navigating the site easier and quicker,” said Haymond.

Some of the new features include:

  • User-friendly layout of tests and conditions/diseases;
  • Easy access to core content and in-depth feature articles like Tips to Help Children through Their Medical Tests;
  • Articles with media-rich related topic content including videos, infographics and images; and<
  • A For Health Professionals section with quick access to content.

“This dynamic and modern design will help the comprehensive content on LTO become even more accessible and helpful to consumers,” added Haymond.

Versions of LTO are available in 15 countries and in 13 languages throughout Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Australia. In addition to the U.S. site, eight global LTO sites (Turkey, Brazil, UK, Spain, Hungary, Italy, China, and Korea) also have unveiled the new design.

LTO’s editorial review board, a group of more than 20 dedicated volunteers representing the clinical laboratory profession and several other health professions, meet frequently to ensure that the content is accurate and relevant, said Haymond.

The board with the help of the LTO staff and writers, review each item posted on the website. “This allows the LTO content to be reviewed for both its technical accuracy and also for its interest and consumption by a general audience,” Haymond elaborated. “Beyond the editorial review board, there are many other volunteers who continually help to review content to ensure the information on the site remains up to date.”

The site will continue to evolve over the next few years with advanced features to optimize the user experience.