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March 21, 2024

Babson Diagnostics to Launch Transformative Blood Testing Service with Leading Retail Partners

AUSTIN, Texas — Babson Diagnostics, a science-first health technology company, announced today that it will launch BetterWay™ blood testing with three retail partners in Austin and San Antonio. BetterWay brings blood testing into the 21st century, making it less invasive, more convenient, and accessible for consumers.

Babson is launching BetterWay with H-E-B, one of the nation’s largest independently owned supermarket chains, and two independent pharmacies in the Austin metro area, Peoples Rx and Lake Hills Pharmacy. BetterWay will be available at select pharmacy locations in the Austin and San Antonio metro areas beginning in July.

“Blood testing hasn’t changed much in over 70 years,” said David Stein, Babson’s chief executive officer. “We intentionally designed BetterWay to create a better patient experience in convenient retail locations. We are excited to introduce BetterWay with three partners keenly focused on improving access to needed healthcare services in their communities.”

Blood testing is an essential medical service that informs 70% of clinical decision-making. Yet, up to 40% of people report skipping recommended testing. To meet the needs of consumers for a more modern, convenient experience, Babson created a first-of-its-kind hybrid approach to blood testing that democratizes small-volume collection and centralizes analysisClinicians can easily place orders for testing used in patient care, diagnosis, and treatment, and clinician-ordered testing is eligible for insurance coverage. Customers can also order tests directly through a convenient e-commerce experience.

Bringing Retail Convenience to Blood Testing

BetterWay fits seamlessly into the pharmacy workflow and enables trained pharmacy staff to offer a robust menu of blood testing to support annual wellness exams, chronic condition management, and screenings.

“We have over 40 years of history serving the Austin community, continually offering new ways for consumers to manage their health,” said Nicola Trevis, pharmacy director at Peoples Rx, which has four locations. “We are proud to be among the first pharmacies in the nation to offer convenient, medically accurate blood testing, building on our tradition of innovation. BetterWay is a perfect fit with our comprehensive, integrated approach to wellness, giving people the information they need to get and stay healthy.”

The introduction of BetterWay also recognizes the growing role of pharmacies in providing comprehensive, personalized care. Pharmacies are filling a vital role in the community by increasing access to important health screenings, immunizations, and physical exams in addition to their traditional services of filling prescriptions and supporting patients with medication counseling.

“By embracing innovations like BetterWay, pharmacists are set to alleviate strains on the healthcare system and offer accessible, efficient solutions that contribute to a more integrated and responsive healthcare experience,” said Jobby John, managing partner at Lake Hills Pharmacy and president-elect of the Texas Pharmacy Association. “This approach not only meets the community's immediate needs but also addresses broader challenges in accessibility and management, marking a pivotal shift to a more resilient healthcare infrastructure.”

Key technologies of the BetterWay blood testing ecosystem include:

  • An FDA-cleared collection device that enables trained healthcare workers to collect a high-quality, pea-sized amount of blood with a simple fingerstick. Without the need for a phlebotomist, Babson can bring medically accurate blood testing to new, more convenient settings such as community pharmacies. A unique hand-warming technology supports the collection of high-quality blood samples from a fingertip.
     
  • A patented microsample preparation device and pre-coded microsample tubes that eliminate the need for the pharmacy team to label and prepare samples. The Babson device automates all sample preparation steps, including mixing and centrifugation, while maintaining optimal temperature and light control to protect sample quality. Manual handling and preparation in conventional testing introduce human error that impacts sample quality.
  • High-quality analysis at Babson’s CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory in Austin that is purpose-built to test microsamples. The lab uses market-leading analyzers and the latest diagnostic technology to produce medically accurate results that clinicians and consumers can trust.

Babson is in discussions with other retail pharmacies to expand BetterWay nationwide.