Interview with Hamish Grierson: CEO of Thriva
What is Thriva and Why Did you Start it?
Thriva is on a mission: To keep people like you on track with your health, like nothing else can.
Practically speaking, we let people track what’s happening inside their bodies using simple at-home blood tests that are analysed by NHS labs. We also work with 700+ specialists and practitioners who use Thriva when they’re running testing on their clients.
We don’t agree that if you’re not acutely sick, you’re therefore completely ‘well’. We want to increase the amount of your life you actually enjoy. In reality, we all have questions about what’s going on with our bodies.
Is there something mechanical slowing me down? How have the years of hard work and stress affected me? Does my diet put me at increased risks? Why can’t I get pregnant? Do the health issues affecting my parents also affect me? Is how I feel a given?
Unfortunately, because it’s so hard to keep track of what’s happening inside, most people opt to ‘just live with it’. We’re not okay with that. Having to live with things until they’re so bad that they cause a problem is backwards.
We created Thriva to put an end to that. For everyone. For good. Health tracking has become a normal thing for millions of people, with devices tracking everything from steps to sleep patterns.
And while those things are interesting, Thriva has created the next step in health tracking that can actually tell you what’s happening inside you.
How Does it Work?
Whether you’re a consumer looking to track keep track of the key things impacting millions of people or whether you’re a specialist looking to run testing on a client, you can order online and we’ll send out the test kit the same day. Once a small sample of blood has been collected at-home, it’s free-posted back to a partner lab who analyse the results within 4 hours. The labs are UKAS accredited and are the same labs running NHS testing. Once the results are processed and come back to our platform, and NHS-trained GP reviews the results. The customer then receives a text and email telling them their results are ready and can be found via their personalised online account.
Some of our specialists also use venous samples for bigger test panels and we can support those as well.
What Tests Does it Include?
The consumer business packages up the key biomarkers that we believe everyone would benefit from tracking. We look at vitamin and mineral deficiencies that millions of people are deficient in but aren’t aware of as well as long-term risk indicators for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
Is it Less Accurate than a Normal Lab Blood Test?
Our tests are as accurate as any ‘normal’ blood test. What is sometimes misunderstood is that by collecting 600 microlitres of blood, we’re getting to the same level of predictive clinical accuracy as a venous drawn sample. There are some analytes that do change over time (such as creatinine) and we ensure that we either don’t run tests that include them OR ensure that the user is very aware of what the changes over time may be.
Another interesting observation: Whether you collect 10 drops from a finger prick or half a pint from a vein, the analysers at the lab are using the same tiny sample volumes to process the analysis.
How Often do the GPs/Does the App Refer on to a Specialist for a Face to Face Consultation?
As Thriva‘s consumer business is trying to keep the ‘well’ from becoming sick rather than testing sick people to identify a condition, the vast majority (97%) of test results do not require a follow up with a GP for a face to face consultation and we make lifestyle suggestions to address any out of range results that are non critical.