In Hotwire’s Health Tech team, we’re always keen to try out the latest Health Tech devices and gadgets, and experiment with the latest Health Tech products. So we were delighted when Hotwire PR alumnus Josh Lakovic joined Thriva, the finger-prick blood test you can do from home, and asked us if we’d like to try it out.
If you’re not familiar with Thriva, it offers an easy to use blood test which you can do from home (or in our case, the Hotwire office) and, once you’ve sent the results off to partner laboratory of theirs, you can access data about your personal health from the blood test via an online portal.
The system currently tests for levels of Liver Function, Cholesterol, Vitamin D and Iron Levels amongst a number of other criteria., but we’re told this may expand in future. The business was started by three friends in 2015, and has already tested tens of thousands of blood samples for its customers. Thriva CEO Hamish Grierson wants to make “understanding and tracking your biochemistry… as normal as counting your steps or jumping on the weighing scales”. Clearly, the benefit is not just from getting a “one-off” read of your key health stats, but also monitoring and benchmarking these over time.
With interest in corporate wellness on the rise, and three willing guinea pigs in Hotwire’s office – Health Tech maven Catherine Desmidt, regular rugby player Tom Rouse and fine diner Darryl Sparey, we thought we had a great cross-section of people to test using the technology. Here’s how each of them got on…
Being someone who’s slightly obsessed with my health, I was excited about discovering some hard facts about my blood, mainly so I could show off about how healthy I truly am.
The Thriva experience starts with the kit’s packaging which is incredibly well designed; there were audible oohs and aahs from colleagues around me when I slid open the box to reveal the various elements of the testing equipment. The process of giving blood was slightly more difficult. I have cold hands so I think some additional time running them under warm water would’ve been helpful to speed up the flow.
My results came back within 24 hours and were beautifully presented in a very clear dashboard format. I was surprised to see a few flags in my results but was reassured when I could click to find out more details about the test and the interpretation of the results. Knowing that a qualified GP, in my case Dr R Beri , had reviewed my blood profile and offered some expert recommendations meant that I took the results seriously and acted on the advice. My next test is due on the 9th August as I need to monitor my cholesterol and iron level so I’ll be booking that in next.
I’m lazy, but also curious about my health. Thriva hit the sweet spot of telling me how I’m doing, without making me change my daily routine. The kit’s user experience was great, though my body took an age to give up the required blood, so don’t necessarily expect to get this over and done within 5 minutes.
I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the results came back and how positive they were – an office lifestyle and rugby culture means I don’t always eat and drink that well. And as a veggie, I’ve always been told I should be watching my iron levels. My test results showed that everything was in good working order – so no need for any major lifestyle changes. It’s something I’d happily do on a yearly basis – knowing I’m in good health left me feeling smug for days.
The nature of my job lends itself to a fairly chaotic lifestyle, where making the best choices from a health perspective can sometimes be challenging. Early starts, eating lunch “on the hoof”, late evenings networking with prospective clients…. it is, in the timeless words of RunDMC “tricky”.
Seeing *just about* every gauge on the cholesterol test in the orange or red areas was exactly the wake-up call I needed to stop letting my lifestyle be my excuse for poor health.
Since getting the results from Thriva, I’ve swapped the IPAs for G&Ts, and the sandwiches for salads, as well as getting a personal trainer to quite literally whip me into shape. I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve lost over 21lbs, and I’m getting back to marathon-running shape again. As the smart chaps from Thriva will tell you, behavioural change is hard, and it’s still early days, but I’m looking forward to seeing the progress I’ve made on my next test.