Thriva: LIVE At Home Blood Test (Review)

Thriva recently reached out to me and asked me to review one of their incredible kits. Thriva is a company that started in 2016 with the aim of building the world's first preventative health service.
There is no simple and convenient way to track what's really going on inside your body which means most people are forced to wait until something goes wrong until they can react. They want to change that. 

I filmed the whole process so you can watch my first attempt at using the kit live. Click here or watch below. The whole process took about 15 minutes from start to finish. 


What is it?
Thriva comprises of a kit sent to your house, in order to monitor your health. You simply do a finger-prick blood test from the comfort of your own home and get results in 48 hours. There are no big needles, appointments or time off required.

There are 3 different kits to choose when it comes to Thriva. Each of these have a different price point and the more expensive the kit, the more factors are tested, with each providing more education. 
  • Essential: for £24 get results on cholesterol and liver function. 
  • Baseline: for £49 get results on cholesterol and liver function, along with iron, VitD and VitB12. 
  • Advanced: for £69 get results on cholesterol and liver function, along with iron, VitD and VitB12, plus VitB9 and a diabetes test. 
  • Thyroid: tests TSH, total and free T4, free T3, TGAB, TPO/TPEX, VitD, folate, VitB12 and ferritin. 

The Kit
The package arrives in a very anonymous blue box. It is small and inconspicuous and amazingly, fits through a letter box. The packaging is incredibly well designed and I was amazed when I opened it. 
The box slides open with a very clear instruction leaflet plus numbered sections in the order of use. It slides open meaning it's very secure and I loved how well planned it is.
If you open the two little boxes on the right you see everything you need to do the test. There are swaps to keep it safe and sterile, the tube, lancets, plaster and everything required to post the test back for free. As you can see, the lancets are very secure in a little holder, as is the blood bottle, which then stands in the hole on the purple section during the test.
All this fits into the little kit and it's very clear what everything is used for and how.
The Test
I'm really not a fan of pain so the thought of inflicting pain on myself, on purpose was really hard to do. I had to have a stern talking to myself and force myself to do it. Once I started to do the test, I saw that you actually have to follow some rather strict instructions.

The test must be done after 8 hours fasting, so basically in the morning, and you should wait until after any short term medication has been stopped. The blood sample also had to be posted back the same day, before last post collection. As I was on antibiotics at the time of receiving the kit. I decided to wait a couple of weeks before undertaking the test. I also wanted to make it as easy as possible for myself so I watched the tips video and followed all the steps, like heating the hand and doing some exercise to increase my heart rate before hand.

So I finally got around to doing the test and I'm not going to lie it was scary. I felt like there were quite a few rules and I really wanted to get it right. The whole way through, as I'm sure you can tell from the video, my hands were really shaking and unfortunately I did loose a few drops of blood as they missed the collection tube. As such, my blood from the first puncture ended up clotting before I'd filled my collection tube to the 600 mark so I had to redo it on the other side of the finger.
As Thriva promises, the lancet is very safe and you can't ever see the needle. Obviously, as a student midwife I've taken lots of blood so I'm not afraid of needles, but it might be an important consideration for some of you. I felt very safe using it on myself. 
I also thought the plasters were very cute. Especially with the smiley face. It's also a very good marketing strategy because I had a number of people ask me about it throughout the day.
Sending the Results
Once again, I followed the instructions very closely after I'd completed the test. I didn't want all that blood and pain - not really! - to not be worth it. You have to attach the label to the blood bottle and then store it in the case. You also fill in the little return form with your details. An important thing I wouldn't have included had I not read the instructions and the checklist multiple times is the fact that the lancets (all three, whether used or not), had to be included in the post to be disposed of separately.
So all that goes into the yellow envelope and straight into the post box for free post. I did my test at 9.01am and it was posted by 9.30am as I walked to university. 
The Aftermath 
I am a total wimp so take what I say about the aftermath with a grain of salt. I wore the plaster until the evening after my gym session just because I wanted a little bit of added protection. When I took it off, I was quite surprised at how big the cuts from the lancet were. In my head, I'd thought it was more like a diabetes finger prick test but I guess that only requires one drop of blood, whereas this requires a lot more.

The bruising the next day was quite big and I thought I took a picture but I didn't. They were purple and interestingly, slightly above the test site. My finger was very sore and I avoided doing anything with it.

By 4 days after, one of the pricks had completely stopped hurting but the other was still sensitive to pressure. By a week later, the marks have completely gone and my finger feels completely normal again!

Results
I was amazed at how quickly the results came through. I was at a friends birthday meal the next night and I looked at my Inbox and the email was already there! Literally less that 48 hours!

I love how easy the results are to see and they use a traffic-light system to show where your results fall in the "normal range". So green being good, orange being borderline and red being out of range. For each test, there are multiple components. You get a comment for each result that isn't green and then an overall comment on your health, linking the different factors.

I was pleasantly surprised to see just one result being out of range and even then only just. My Total B12 is currently low at 133 but the borderline cut off is 145 so only just outside. I think I'll try eating a bit more in my diet to increase the amount!

My Vitamin D was also slightly low, but let's face it, I haven't been out of the flat much this summer. Wait for next week! With that, my Alkaline Phosphatase level was also slightly low but that's probably because of the Vitamin D too.

Review
Overall, I think this is a fascinating and very inventive product. I would defintely recommend it to everyone. I am a complete woss when it comes to pain so if I can do it, everyone can. I defintely thought it hurt a little bit but it was more of a sting than anything else. I was also so nervous, as I'm sure you can tell from the video, and my hand wouldn't stop shaking! Hence why I ended up losing so many precious drops of blood!

I found it very reassuring that it is not only backed by the NHS but that they also use the same accredited labs and methods to test blood as the NHS. I loved that the results were reviewed by a UK qualified GP and that they provided a personalised online report and evidence-based advice on how you can make positive changes.The service feels very safe and it's incredibly efficient and well thought out.

I really loved being able to see my results so clearly and it's defintely made me more aware of my health and shown me some easy steps I can take to improve my results as well. I defintely plan on re-doing it sometime in the future. I probably won't subscribe to a regular subscription but I defintely think it's great to stay up-to-date on your health and this gives a great insight into it. I think it's really nice that you can track your own health progress as there are graphs plotted which show the path your results are taking.

If you want to order your own Thriva kit, you can get 50% off your first test by clicking here.

Don't forget you can watch the video on my YouTube channel by clicking here!

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