Urine Test Strips: A Brief History

The use of medical test strips, such as Multistix, in medical practice today is almost habitual. Urinalysis is a recognized, respected, and oft-utilized way to gain a better understanding of what is occurring in a patient’s body. The average medical test kit will incorporate some form of urinalysis, and there is a wide range of medical supplies available for performing this type of diagnostic work. However, using urine to understand the body was not always as scientifically rooted as it is today.

Urinalysis has existed in some form for thousands of years. A range of cultures believed, or still believe, that urine held special powers. Many cultures already recognized that urine was a direct reflection of the body’s overall health and it was used to heal wounds, boost immune defense, and to provide clues about ailments. The first official test strip was created by Jules Maumene in Paris in 1850 to test for the presence of sugar in urine. The test strips that are now most commonly available began production in 1964. They have become more technologically advanced over the years, though their appearance has remained largely static. The next time you pick up a urine test strip, consider what your practice would be like without them.

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