Who's in charge of your future health?
Biomarker testing puts you in control of your body
Keeping tabs on your values is crucial for a healthy life. But these days gaining access to information about how healthy your body truly is, is far from easy. Most people don’t react until they display symptoms of a disease and then it may already be too late to avoid a long period of ill health. A simple, cheap biomarker test would make this information accessible for everyone.
“Preventive health care is in principle non-existent for most of us; if society had worked with preventive healthcare, significantly fewer people would suffer from illnesses. I want everyone to have information about their own bodies so they can enjoy better health and longer lives,” says Ola Bartholdsson, CEO and founder of the recent start-up, Bodymarkers.
If you understand how healthy you are on the inside, you have the information and ability to change and improve your lifestyle. By measuring various biomarkers – substances present in the blood – it is possible to determine with great accuracy the levels of such things as vitamins, minerals, sugars, protein, toxins and cholesterol in the body.
“Understanding blood biomarkers can enable everything from improving your metabolism, sleep and energy to preventing illnesses and toxic substances in the body. Many experts think it will soon be possible to tailor healthcare according to biomarkers. For example, you can immediately analyse what happens in the body as a result of a McDonald’s or LCHF diet,” says Ola Bartholdsson.
There are thousands of biomarkers that each represent different things. Many illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes are identified through using blood tests and analysing biomarkers. We can also see how eating habits, allergies and environmental aspects affect the body.
"I'm a bit of a hypochondriac myself and measure everything from the number of steps I take daily, my dietary intake, my sleep and my BMI. I have a complete body and brain MRI every year and test 50 blood biomarkers. But it's complicated, expensive and time-consuming and requires many visits to the doctor. Bodymarkers enables us to find out what’s happening in the body much more cheaply and easily through the use of new technology.
He and Professor Jonas Bergquist from Uppsala University have developed a unique test method that replaces expensive, time-consuming blood tests. All you need is a drop of blood from a simple prick test on a filter paper to analyse the molecules in the blood.
“We’ve transformed conventional blood tests into a ‘direct-delivery’ test that provides millions of people with convenient access to all of their important biomarkers via a smart phone app," says Ola Bartholdsson.
You purchase the test kit yourself at a store and then send it into Bodymarkers. The blood is analysed at a medical laboratory with the same degree of reliability as blood tests taken at a health care clinic.
“You can see your test results on your smart phone through an intelligent health app within 24 hours of our receiving the test. We show the results together with an advanced analysis and present them in simple graphs that anyone can understand. The results, analysis and action plans are available on the internet at your personal health portal. With this information and knowledge, anyone who wants to is able to directly and precisely influence their health,” says Ola Bartholdsson.
It’s a matter of preventive healthcare; of feeling better, optimizing one’s body and lifestyle and understanding how we're doing on the inside. These measures will not only help people feel better, they will also mean major economies for society.
"Keeping tabs on your values means no unnecessary trips to the doctor. What's more, biomarker analyses will help doctors do a better job for people who truly are ill. Doctors will also benefit from the analyses.”
Many people suffer from deficiencies throughout their lives without knowing it, but are instead saddled with some form of ill health. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common problems today with as many as 30 per cent of the entire population affected according to several studies.
"Let's say you're suffering from insomnia or are depressed. After taking out test you discover you are deficient in vitamin D. You change your diet and after a while you feel much better. Imagine the improvement in the quality of life this can mean for the individual, not to mention the time and money saved by not having to visit the doctor or purchase medications.”
“I want everyone to have access to important information about their bodies; being able to prevent illness and improve our quality of life with the information and knowledge available is a human right,” says Ola Bartholdsson.
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