Health is one of the hottest topics for many of us and we will go to great lengths to learn more and take control of our health and wellbeing. Technology is improving and developing all the time, and with the popularity of home blood tests on the rise, Thriva might be right for you.
We’ve been looking at Thriva, one of a range of DIY blood testing kits available in the UK.
Our review covers what it does, how much it costs (and does that represent good value) and of course whether or not it actually works. We conducted our review to help you learn more about the product and if it could work for you.
What does Thriva do?
Thriva is a home blood test product that allows customers to learn more about their health without the need for a specific visit to their GP. You might be too busy, too embarrassed, or just too worried about being given bad news – no problem; with a home test kit, you can answer your queries in your own time, from the comfort of your own home.
Being able to take their own tests is a big positive for those curious about their wellbeing and something like Thriva allows them to see things they wouldn’t normally. And if you’re too squeamish to do the blood finger-prick test yourself, you can take it along to your local pharmacist and ask them to do it for you. Unlike some products on the market, Thriva looks at specifics.
They have a range of panels for particular challenges, such as people wanting to improve their fitness, increase their energy levels, or even sleep better.
Thriva offers personalised insights and advice with results ready in 48 hours from labs approved by the NHS.
Perhaps you’ve been battling low energy levels recently, and no matter how hard you try, you’re always falling into an energy slump. There are lots of potential causes of low energy levels, anything from an underactive thyroid to being deficient in a particular nutrient. Even some health conditions such as diabetes can hit your energy hard.
Thriva can help you monitor your levels with tests for Vitamins B9, B12 and D, Iron, Thyroid, and Diabetes specifically.
Maybe you’re feeling perfectly fit and healthy, on top of the world, but there are instances of some conditions in your family and you want to keep an eye on things or understand your own risk of developing them.
Thriva could offer you a longer-term solution to monitor your overall health, including your bone and heart health, where risks grow as you get older. The old saying that “prevention is better than cure” is absolutely what Thriva is about, helping people to notice abnormalities and get a diagnosis and subsequent treatment sooner.
Thriva comes in a brightly coloured box that contains everything you need. It’s been designed to hold a test kit once it’s in use, so has cut-out holes to help you out while you conduct the test. The Thriva team have thought of everything, from an alcohol wipe to clean the prick test area to custom sticking plasters with a smiley face on them. Each pack has an easy-to-follow instruction booklet so you can follow along, step by step.
Do Thriva’s blood tests actually work?
While the test panels cover a broad range of health goals, Thriva does not necessarily cover all the biomarkers an individual might want to track.
Unlike some products on the market, Thriva uses a subscription-based model that allows for monitoring, rather than a one-off test.
That’s good news for data fans who want to collect a lot of information over time, and also for those worried about troubling a doctor unnecessarily. All your results are visible to you online, either through logging in on their platform or using the mobile app.
The graphics are colour-coded which makes disseminating information quickly easy to do. Once you have your results, you can read around the subject and take further suggested actions, though these are generic and not specifically tied to your results.
Like many lifestyle or habit-forming apps, Thriva has prompts to remind you to take an action, for example asking how many times in the last week you have taken a suggested vitamin supplement. If you need a bit more reassurance, know that each of the blood test samples is analysed by a legitimate UKAS-accredited lab that is also registered with CQC. The test kits themselves carry the CE mark. Save yourself the regular physical examinations by keeping an eye on your health at home, so you only have to go to the doctor when there’s a change. You’ll know something has changed because you’ve been following it, and you’ll have hard data to share with your GP when the time comes to make that appointment.
How much does Thriva cost?
We liked the flexibility of the pricing because you build it based on what you need. Choose your test or tests, then decide how often you want to do them, from every three months to once a year. It is easy to make changes to your plan too, even to cancel it should you wish to.
The base price is £30 and the average pack prices comes in at just over £80.
This is for the testing packages and does not cover any medication you might need to take.
Is Thriva good value?
You’re paying for a monthly subscription, which is a commitment in itself, but there is a fair bit included in that.
For starters, obviously, you get the home testing kits. Those give you accurate results, as well as GP reports and evidence-based advice for where to go next. There are plenty of other benefits too, such as recipe suggestions and lots of articles and podcasts so you can really clue up on your particular health interest.
Everything is available on a mobile app too, (with both Apple and Android versions) so it’s all at your fingertips whenever you need it.
The app is very user-friendly with easy-to-navigate menus and clear visual representations of data. The photos of suggested recipes in the health plan section look especially good!
We liked the foundations that Thriva’s brand and mission are built on; wellbeing isn’t just about ‘healthy’ or ‘sick’ – there’s a lot in between, and a lot more we can control and influence ourselves with the right tools. That’s where Thriva comes in.
We also liked that you have complete flexibility over the tests you choose. You can choose a specific test to monitor your progress there, and you’ll also continue to receive ideas and suggestions for how to improve your overall wellbeing at the same time. The tests are also supported by a team of doctors with lots of experience and interests who guide the product team to ensure everything is safe and in line with the very latest medical research.
Results are quick to come in, generally taking just 48 hours to appear. It is limited compared to some competitors, such as Numan, on the number of lab markers available to test (fewer than 50), though for people interested in their overall health rather than a specific issue, this won’t necessarily be a problem.
The brand is focused on prevention, and the target audience they are looking at will likely be looking at overall fitness and health with a view to seeking medical advice for any unusual results. Weighing everything up, Thriva is going to be a really useful tool in the kit of many a health-seeker.
Caveats and cautions
Be sure to consult your GP before making significant changes to your diet or exercise regime. And don’t forget that some of the conditions that Thriva blood tests cover will need ongoing medical treatment and support from trained professionals, so home tests should never be used exclusively in place of seeking help from a doctor.
This is not a diagnostic service – your doctor will do that – and nor is Thriva claiming to take the place of a family doctor. Instead, this is a service designed to give you plenty of information to talk about with your doctor at a regular check-up, and empower individuals with knowledge about themselves that can be explored in conjunction with a medical professional. It’s making information accessible and offering an affordable way to take control of our own preventative healthcare. Always discuss your plans with your GP who will be able to confirm that this is the correct course of action, or suggest amendments to make it work for you.
If you’re struggling to choose between providers, check out our comparison of the market leaders Thriva and Numan.