”A drop of blood is all I need”
Tired, weak; aches and pains? Then you could be suffering from vitamin D deficiency. But with a prick of the finger and a free smartphone app, your vitamin deficiency will soon be a thing of the past.
“One of the biggest advantages with our method of measuring biomarkers is owning your own results. You know exactly how things are and you can monitor your progress directly in your smartphone," says Ola Bartholdsson, CEO and founder of Bodymarkers.
Vitamin D deficiency has become extremely commonplace; as many as one in three are thought to suffer in Europe alone.
“The sun is the key to healthy vitamin D levels, which is why so many people in the Nordic region suffer a deficiency during the winter six months. When it’s dark many hours every day, the body's production of vitamin D drops.
Vitamin D test – how it works
Bodymarkers' method of measuring vitamin D levels is both simple and low cost. People who wish to check their levels buy a test kit from the nearest pharmacy or health food store and then prick a finger. A drop of blood is soaked up by a filter paper which is then placed in a return envelope. The envelope is sent to Bodymarkers’ laboratory in the UK which analyses the vitamin D biomarker and transmits the results directly to an app in the test individual's smartphone.
“The app displays your indicators and lets you adjust your vitamin D levels yourself without having to go to a public healthcare clinic, which is much simpler for everyone concerned," says Ola Bartholdsson.
In historical terms, measuring vitamin D levels preventively has been a wasted effort, both in Sweden and internationally. The tests are expensive to perform for the healthcare service, and in an age when every public healthcare clinic is hemmed in by demands for economies, patients are usually only tested if they are displaying symptoms of disease.
“Nine times out of ten the answer is no, which is a sign that preventive healthcare is not accessible to the majority of people,” says Ola.
If you want your blood tested anyway you usually have to turn to the private healthcare which often is expensive. This means less than one per cent of the world’s population has access to, or can afford, preventive health checks. All that’s required with Bodymarkers’ method is a prick of a finger – which can be done at home at the kitchen table – and the price is but a fraction of what it costs the public healthcare system today. Suddenly, everyone can enjoy preventive health checks.
“We should naturally be able to check our levels before we fall ill. Our method lets us see if we’re approaching deficiency or surplus and gives us time to correct things before any illness occurs," says Ola Bartholdsson.
Don't take too much
Vitamin D deficiency is a well-documented cause of ill health, but overdosing is not good either. Overconsumption of vitamin D tablets can not only be toxic, it also raises the risk of cardiovascular damage. It’s therefore important that we keep an eagle eye on our levels even if we have healthy lifestyles.
“If we get tested at a public healthcare clinic, they often only tell us if we are inside or outside the normal range. If the indicators are good, the results vanish into the medical records system never to be seen again. In our service, the information is always accessible and people who want to can take several tests to study vitamin D trends over time,” says Fred, Bodymarkers’ founder.
Bodymarkers will launch its first product – a vitamin D test – in the beginning of 2016 for sale through pharmacists and selected retail stores.
Bodymarkers carries out biomarker analysis with test kits sold for home use. One drop of blood is all it takes for people to obtain information about their own bodies and health. Bodymarkers’ first product – a prediabetes test – will be launched in 2016 for sale through pharmacists and selected retail stores. The company was founded by businessman Ola Bartholdsson in 2015 and has its head office in Gothenburg, Sweden. www.bodymarkers.com