Since 2001, AACC’s award-winning health information web resource, Lab Tests Online (LTO), has been educating patients and healthcare providers on the inner workings of laboratory tests. In 2019, LTO will be expanding its content and building on its strengths as a peer-reviewed, global site for patient education. 

New topics for 2019 include:

  • Respiratory syndromic panel
  • DNA sequencing (method)
  • Thyroid nodules molecular testing
  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Programmed death-ligand-1
  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation
  • Lynch syndrome gene test
  • Lynch syndrome
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Low platelets (thrombocytopenia)

Three topics carried over from 2018—liquid biopsy (Test), gallstones and gallbladder disease (Condition) and babesiosis (Condition)—also are under development and soon will be available on the site.

In 2019, LTO’s editors want to provide readers with greater detail on topics the site already covers by breaking them out from current articles and creating separate, specific content. For example, DVT is currently covered in an overview article on excessive clotting disorders. A specific article on DVT will enable readers to learn more details about the risks, signs, symptoms, and related testing for this potentially life-threatening condition. LTO also plans to highlight tests that have come into use recently and are becoming more widespread, as well as some esoteric tests for which good web-based explanations are lacking.

LTO currently has more than 300 test articles and over 100 condition/disease articles. However, the site continually adds new content. Its Editorial Review Board and Global Editors meet annually to decide which topics have the highest priority for development. “The 2019 topics for content development were chosen from a compilation of user feedback and the top search engine hits relevant to laboratory medicine,” LTO’s Executive Editor Christine Snozek, PhD, DBACC, told CLN Stat. “The editorial board selected topics that were of high patient interest, as well as some fairly new tests that are gaining increased attention.”

Snozek anticipates that readers will find the DNA sequencing methodology article especially interesting. This topic will expand upon LTO’s genetic testing feature article (already in development), and the test-related articles on continuous glucose monitoring and respiratory syndromic panels will provide insights into these evolving testing methods, she said. “These topics all highlight recent advances in laboratory testing and should be helpful to both patients and healthcare providers in understanding their current utility and future applications,” according to Snozek.

LTO also plans to expand on its monthly health awareness events-related articles, which to date include women’s health, men’s health, and healthy aging. These articles coordinate with national and/or global events, bundling topics of interest for specific readers.