FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the icons for more information about a topic

Shipping Delay Update

Due to Brexit, we are experiencing delays with customs clearance which currently affects the return shipping process. Be assured that we work tirelessly to receive your sample in time in our laboratory. The stability of the sample will not be affected. You will be updated once your sample arrives in the laboratory. Apologies for the inconvenience.

1. Convalescent plasma programme NHS Blood and Transplant

Yes. The NHS Blood and Transplant has resumed collecting convalescent plasma following a temporary pause. You should still complete your test to help us identify if you are an eligible donor. You can find out more about the status of the trial here.

The antibody test works by analysing a sample of your blood to test for the level of COVID-19 antibodies. An antibody is a protein that the body produces to help fight infection. If you have had COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccine your body will have produced specific antibodies to fight off the virus. It’s important to note that while a positive sample test does indicate you’ve had COVID-19, a negative result does not confirm you’ve not had the virus.

  1. After volunteering for the NHS Blood and Transplant convalescent plasma donation, you will be sent an email inviting you to register.  When you click on the link you will be taken to this page to register with Homed-IQ for the next steps.
  2. You will then be asked to set up an account with Homed-IQ.  When you have done that we will automatically process your Convalescent Plasma Donor Eligibility Test, and you will receive an email confirmation including tracking details once your test kit has been dispatched.
  3. Your sample collection kit will arrive in the post within a couple of days and will contain everything you need to collect your sample and enable you to post it to the laboratory. Please make sure you post your sample on the same day as you take your test.
  4. Once you have collected your sample and sent it back to us, you will get an email letting you know we have received it at the laboratory. Most people will receive their results within 2-3 working days of their sample arriving at the laboratory.
  5. We will send you a further email to let you know that your results are ready so that you can log into your account at www.homediq.com to view if you are a suitable candidate to donate convalescent plasma for use in COVID–19 treatment trials and advise on the next steps in the process.

The Customer Care team is here for you, should you need any help along the way. Please email [email protected]. They are available from 8 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday, and from 9 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.

The Customer Care team is here for you, should you need any help along the way. Please email [email protected]. They are available from 8 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday, and from 9 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.

2. Delivery of test kit

Usually within a matter of days. Because of the current situation with COVID-19, Royal Mail are showing delays in areas within the United Kingdom.

The kit will fit comfortably through your letterbox and you do not need to sign for it, so there is no need to wait at home to receive your test kit.

We will pack your test kit carefully. Once your order has been collected from the warehouse, you will receive an email with the tracking details.

3. Test activation process

You have to activate your test kit, so that we can link the test kit you received back to your name. By doing this we can track your sample throughout the testing process.

If you do not activate your test kit, we do not know which sample is yours and ultimately we cannot share your test result with you. This means we would need to send you a new test kit and that you will have to take the test again.

If you have issues activating your test kit, please double check you have completed the following steps:

  • You have logged into the account you created during the registration process.
  • Use the 12-digit unique test kit ID code that is located on the yellow sticker on the back of your blood collection card as your activation code.
  • Make sure you have filled in all the required fields and that you have ticked the terms & conditions box.

4. Sample collection process

  • It is very important to drink plenty of water before collecting your blood sample.
  • Make sure your hands are warm before you start. We also recommend that you take a warm shower beforehand to allow your blood to circulate through the body even better.
  • Before you prick and collect your sample, it is best to hang your hands at your sides so that the blood can flow to your fingertips.
  • Prick the left or right side of the tip of your finger (not in the middle, but to the right or left of the tip).
  • If you have hard skin on your fingers (such as calluses), soak your prick finger in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin.
  • If desired, you can try fingers on both hands with the extra finger prick supplied. The ring and middle fingers are the best fingers to pierce.
  • Wipe off the first drop of blood with the supplied non-alcoholic disinfectant wipe.
  • Then massage from your wrist to the tip of your finger, a drop will form.
  • Continue to massage from your elbow to the fingers as if you were pushing the blood to the fingers. It is important not to press too hard on your fingertips. This can sometimes cause the blood to clot.
  • Let it flow onto the blood collection card. Do not touch the card with your finger. If the drop does not fall quickly, you can tap the drop lightly to the blood collection card.
  • If you notice that the blood is coming out quite slowly, you can try holding your hands under warm running water for up to 5 minutes or against a cup of warm water for at least 2 minutes as this can also help. Make sure your hands are dry before trying again. Do not forget to wipe the first drop of blood that appears on your finger with the supplied non-alcoholic disinfectant wipe after using the lancet.
  • If you find that one hand is not working for you, switch hands as the other hand may have better blood flow.
  • We advise that if you fail the first time to ask someone nearby to help if possible. For many people, it is more desirable if someone else presses the finger prick (hard) against your finger.

Yes, the following link will direct you to the sample collection instruction video.

http://www.homediq.com/instructions

The accompanying video is not a substitute for reading the instructions.

Place the lancet off the center of your fingertip and puncture the side of the tip. For best results, do not puncture your fingertip directly in the center.

Make sure you are well hydrated: drink a large glass of water before following the additional recommendations.

You can use the second lancet on a different finger. Hold the respective hand under running warm water for a longer amount of time to increase blood flow and follow the steps outlined in the IFU. Make sure to press your disinfected finger on a firm surface, for example, a table. Only in this way, the proper puncture depth of the lancet can be ensured. After the puncture, don’t forget to massage your hand several times from your wrist in the direction of the puncture site, so that large blood drops can form.

The 5 circles should be filled as completely as possible within the markings (at least 2 thirds). Blood Collection 1 Check the back of the card. Your blood needs to saturate the paper and the blood drops should fill the same area on the back. Do not add blood drops to the back of the card! Blood Collection 1

The sample requires a very small amount of blood, just enough to fill the 5 circles. We need as much blood as possible, so please follow the sample collection instructions as closely as possible. We included a list of recommendations regarding at the end of this section

If you have managed to fill the 5 circles close to two-thirds, we would advise sending the sample back to the lab for testing. If there is not enough blood to test, customer support will reach out to you, to organize a replacement test.

If you have used all of your lancets and have not managed to fill the 5 circles according to the instructions, please contact our customer care team at [email protected]

We would advise sending the sample back to the lab for testing. If there is not enough blood to test, our customer support team will reach out to you, to organize a replacement test.

Yes, it is important to closely follow the instructions in the step-by-step instructions manual and to let the blood sample dry before you send it back to us.

Finger-prick samples have been proven to be as accurate as venous samples, provided that the samples have been collected correctly. There are certain tests where a full venous sample collection is required and where a finger prick sample would not give an accurate and true result. We only offer a finger prick option for tests if we are confident it will provide an adequate sample and an accurate result.

5. Returning my sample to the laboratory

No, the package must be posted in one of the 35,000 Royal Mail priority postboxes. Your test kit cannot be dropped off at the Post Office.

Check for priority post boxes in your area: www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes

Please make sure you apply the return label to the return envelope before sending it back.

All shipping costs have been covered, so you do not have to pay for anything. Just make sure you apply the return label to the return envelope and drop off at a Royal Mail priority postbox.

Check for postboxes in your area: www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes

Please note: your test kit cannot be dropped off at the Post Office, but must be posted in one of the 35,000 Royal Mail priority postboxes.

Please use a Royal Mail priority postbox.

Check for postboxes in your area: www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes

Please note: your test kit cannot be dropped off at the Post Office, but must be posted in one of the 35,000 Royal Mail priority postboxes.

First, insert the blood collection card into the grip bag. Then insert the bag into the return envelope. Apply the return label to the return envelope and drop it off at a Royal Mail priority postbox.

Check for postboxes in your area: www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes

Please note: your test kit cannot be dropped off at the Post Office, but must be posted in one of the 35,000 Royal Mail priority postboxes.

You will be notified by email as soon as we have received your returned sample. Processing a return takes approximately 3 to 5 working days.

If you have not yet received an email informing you that the test kit has arrived in the lab, it could mean any of the following:

  • The test kit has not yet arrived in the laboratory
  • The email may have ended up in your email spam box. Please check your spam folder to see if there are any messages from Homed-IQ
  • If you have not received an email informing you that your sample has arrived at the lab after 6 working days, your kit may have been lost in transit. Please contact our helpdesk at [email protected] to request a new kit.

As long as you return your sample back on a Monday-Thursday before 10am, your sample should arrive in the lab for testing within 24-48 hours. Occasionally there may be delays due to courier or weather issues, in the unlikely event your sample is affected by these delays and is unsuitable for analysis we will reach out to you with an alternative or repeat testing option.

If there is not enough blood to test, our customer care team will reach out to you, to organize a replacement test. In case you do not wish to receive a new test kit the process stops here.

Once your registration is complete, your Homed-IQ test package will be shipped out to you and on average you should receive your test kit within a matter of days. Due to COVID-19, this could take slightly longer. Once you have posted your sample in one of the 35,000 priority postboxes it will take approximately 2 to 3 business days to arrive at our laboratory. From that moment our laboratory will need a maximum of 3 business days to process your sample and share your test result.

6. Test results

Once your results are ready for you to view, we will notify you by email. You can then simply login to your personal dashboard and your results will be displayed. Usually it takes 10-15 minutes for your result to show up after you received the email.

If you think your results should be ready but you haven’t received an email from us, check your spam or junk folder. Alternatively, login to your personal dashboard to check the status of your test; if your results are ready you will be able to view them.

You will receive your results on our secure online portal where they will be displayed on your personal dashboard.

We will send you a further email to let you know that your results are ready so that you can log into your account at www.homediq.com. Your test result will only indicate whether or not you are a suitable candidate to donate convalescent plasma for use in COVID–19 treatment trials and advise on the next steps in the process.

When filling the 5 circles, it needs to be filled according to the instructions for use included in your test kit. If you were unable to provide enough sample, it’s likely there was not enough blood for our labs to process the biomarker of your test panel.

Sometimes it can happen that although you have provided sufficient sample, a result may come back as ‘quantity not sufficient’ (QNS). This means that there was an insufficient amount of viable blood for the lab to process. In this case, the customer service team will be in touch with you to send out a new collection kit.

You will be notified by email as soon as we have received your returned sample. Processing a return takes approximately 3 to 5 working days.

If you have not yet received an email informing you that the test kit has arrived in the lab, it could mean any of the following:

  • The test kit has not yet arrived in the laboratory
  • The email may have ended up in your email spam box. Please check your spam folder to see if there are any messages from Homed-IQ
  • If you have not received an email informing you that your sample has arrived at the lab after 6 working days, your kit may have been lost in transit. Please contact our helpdesk at [email protected] to request a new kit.

As long as you return your sample back on a Monday-Thursday before 10am, your sample should arrive in the lab for testing within 24-48 hours. Occasionally there may be delays due to courier or weather issues, in the unlikely event your sample is affected by these delays and is unsuitable for analysis we will reach out to you with an alternative or repeat testing option.

If there is not enough blood to test, our customer care team will reach out to you, to organize a replacement test. In case you do not wish to receive a new test kit the process stops here.

Once your registration is complete, your Homed-IQ test package will be shipped out to you and on average you should receive your test kit within a matter of days. Due to COVID-19, this could take slightly longer. Once you have posted your sample in one of the 35,000 priority postboxes it will take approximately 2 to 3 business days to arrive at our laboratory. From that moment our laboratory will need a maximum of 3 business days to process your sample and share your test result.

7. Contact

The Customer Care team of Homed-IQ is here for you, should you need any help along the way. Please email [email protected]. They are available from 8 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday, and from 9 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday.

Blood Collection Tips