Could an iPhone app be the newest tool for a pre-employment drug testing service?

Scanadu ImageWhen employers conduct pre-employment drug tests or enforce random drug testing, they typically have to hire a drug testing service or work with a local clinic to get results. However, new technologies from healthcare company Scanadu may eventually make pre-employment drug testing as simple as checking your phone. Scanadu has introduced a device that may change not only the healthcare industry, but also how employers conduct drug tests. The device, called Scanaflo, is a urinalysis test kit that utilizes an iPhone app to scan used strips. The app differentiates colors on the strip that indicate the composition of the sample. While the Scanaflo is currently only being marketed toward those who want or need to regularly monitor their health at home — such as pregnant women and the elderly — Scanadu co-founder Sam De Brouwer has noted that there may be opportunities for this device to be used for drug testing in the future. Should a drug testing service choose to use this device as part of its service, the person conducting the tests would use his or her phone to scan the used strips. The phone app would immediately provide feedback regarding various chemical levels in the urine. While organizations may see this as an opportunity to conduct urine tests on their own instead of hiring a drug testing service for screening, businesses should take caution. Drug testing laws vary state by state, and companies would be wise to continue working with these services in order to ensure they do not violate their employees’ rights or break any state or federal laws. (A few months back, nine employees in Ohio sued their employer — to the tune of $2.25 million — for violating their constitutional rights by subjecting the employees to “random” screening that seemingly only targeted one type of job within the organization.) Due to the complexity and fluidity of employment law, employers should continue to work with screening services whose job it is to keep up to date on the legalities. This technology has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but Scanadu is hopeful that it will get the proper certifications from the FDA by the end of the year. Image via 9to5Mac]]>

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