I don’t visit the doctor often enough. Not because I am scared or fear the worst, but mostly because life and work generally get in the way. Most of us, like me, usually leave it until we feel sick or are in pain to do anything about it. Rather than being proactive and keeping a regular check on our health. If your also anything like me, the thought of a blood test and anything to do with needles instantly puts me off. Needless to say I was sceptical when I first heard about Thriva.
What is Thriva?
Thiva in its physical form is a home blood sample kit. It is delivered to your door with simple clean packaging and instructions and lancets, not needles. The lancets allow you to draw blood from your finger after a small, but a painful prick. You then squeezing the blood in to sample tubes to be sent off and analysed. In its digital form, Thriva is a service that you sign up for and it provides a dashboard which allows you to track and improve your health with 3 different subscription packages. The essential package starts at £24 and allows Thriva to analyse the blood sample and give you simple information back in relation to cholesterol levels and tests for liver and kidney function.
How does it work?
This part is fairly simple. Once you have your pack, Thriva recommend you conduct the blood sample as close to the beginning of the week as possible, alternatively on a Sunday. This means the sample can be sent off and analysed during the week at Thriva’s in-house lab. Once delivered you should get your results the same day as it was in my case but this can vary. I was pleasantly surprised with this as usually being in Jersey postage tends to take that extra day or two. When I got an email on the Tuesday with confirmation of delivery and then my results the same day I was impressed.
The packaging for the test is simple but effective. It grabs your attention with its slide-out style draw revealing the contents of each section which are carefully marked up. Using the lancet, drawing blood was easy enough and didn’t put me off. It may not be for everyone though and Laura certainly didn’t think she could use it. The harder you push on the skin the less painful it is but it’s certainly a battle with the mind when it comes to pulling the trigger as it were. You then squeeze from your arm and hand downwards drawing the blood into the sample tube. This process was harder than it sounds and it proved messy. We didn’t realise quite how much blood was needed to fill the sample tube so we ended up using all 3 lancets. Tip, squeeze as much blood on the first prick!
Benefits and improvements
The kit is easy enough to follow and use but squeezing blood into a small test tube was not easy. I gather this does vary from person to person. However, a different device/process/option to help with that would be great. Once that is completed, sending off the sample is as easy as labelling the tube and sealing it in a pre-paid plastic mail bag. I was very sceptical about how much data and information could actually be provided from Thriva’s home test kit but was happy with the results I received. The detail and information from the different sections given are helpful and there may be technical terms you may not understand, however, Thriva does a good job explaining the terminology in an understandable way… and if that all fails there is always Google.
My results were generally all fine but there was one stand out section. My Triglycerides levels were raised higher than the average, this didn’t cause me too much alarm but it has made me more conscious and aware of some of my eating and drinking habits. I plan on following up on this with a post in the near future on food and drink alternatives I have now chosen. Ideally, it would be great to carry on with my Thriva subscription and do a follow-up test in a few months to see if I have improved or worsened any of my results. Unfortunately, at £49 per test for the mid-tier subscription this just isn’t cost effective enough for me to consider.
I think the initial test is a good starting point for most individuals and allow you to make decisions going forward. Ultimately if we all choose to be proactive with our health and use a simple service like Thriva to help, this can only be a good thing.
Would you give Thriva a go?