The forces that act in opposition to someone being able to achieve the goal they set out to achieve.
Go on to the street and ask anyone whether they think there’s value in getting a regular check-in on their health and you’ll find the vast majority of people say “yes”.
Ask whether they’re getting the aforementioned check and the vast majority say “no”.
Why not? Friction. Actual and perceived friction associated with the process. That’s why.
Worryingly, you often hear the same story if you ask patients* whether they’re keeping on top of their condition and abiding by the testing or monitoring that’s required to optimally treat their health issue.
That perceived and actual friction associated with getting tested is driven by a powerful force: The NHS evolved in order to deliver ‘sickcare’ and serious care. As a consequence, there is a huge amount of unintended friction associated with much of the testing, diagnostics and remote monitoring that, unfortunately, play a central role in proactive, preventative health.
When, in practice, the idea of getting a blood/urine/saliva test evokes images of phone calls, time off work, waiting rooms full of sick people, travel time, a lack of clarity, a lack of ownership, it’s hardly surprising we see 1 in 4 deaths linked to something preventable. It’s impossible to know how many more could be tracked back to treatment being on the back foot.
The future, today
Helping to tear down elements of this friction, there are exciting companies (https://anvajo.com/) working on delivering testing devices that’ll enable you to test from home. They’re nascent technologies for now. And equally, while Theranos didn’t execute according to plan, others are working on developing faster, cheaper and more sophisticated testing equipment which might start cropping up in pharmacies etc.
However, at Thriva, we’re of the view that you can deliver a 10x better experience using existing technology and methodology. Getting a regular blood check for things like heart attack risk, diabetes risk, vitamin D and B12 deficiency can be done without leaving the house.
Today, Thriva delivers a finger-prick blood test through your letterbox and with results provided the next day (not in 2 weeks) via a personalised online dashboard and having been reviewed by an NHS trained GP.
And while unassisted finger-prick collection remains clunky, it won’t be long before hardware innovators call an end to the days of the lancet and usher in a new era of totally painless blood collection from home.
*defined in this context as someone who’s been through a medicalised process requiring expert medical care
CEO and Co-Founder