If the last two years have encouraged you to focus more on your health, you’re not alone. In fact, around 56% of Australians describe themselves as in excellent or very good shape. But what is the best way to maintain and improve our health in a post-Pandemic world and what challenges do we face?
Well, according to the Australian Department of Health, two potential challenges are finding ways to effectively use “emerging health technologies” and secondly, making better use of available “health data”.
That, says Drop Bio Health CEO and Co-Founder Phil Hayes St Clair, is where Drop Bio Health WellBeing comes in.
“WellBeing is all about producing early warning signs; we provide our members with knowledge about what their health is actually like,” he explains.“Then we compare those results to how they think they're going by measuring their daily habits against what their blood is actually telling them (and us).”
This comparison is useful, he says, in order to give members a sense of how far away their mindset around their own health is from where our data suggests their health is.
“Our job is to create a ‘baton’, so if we see something which may need extra attention, we pass the baton across to a doctor and that doctor can then go and do whatever they need to do,” he explains. “Our job is not to diagnose conditions; our job is to help surface any early warnings.”
Drop Bio Health produces those early warning signals by combining carefully applied technology and extensive scientific research. In fact, all the information needed for WellBeing can be sourced through a simple fingerpick blood collection that members can do at home, as well as a questionnaire online.
Then the laboratory data and the online component is translated into easy-to-understand information displayed on a personalised online dashboard for each member to access. As Principal Scientist, Connor O’Meara PhD explains:
“We have curated a list of 36 biomarkers through a combination of extensive literature searches, experimental validation and clinical trials for biomarker discovery,” he says. “This list contains a mixture of conventional markers either commonly used by General Practitioners or emerging from research following independent verification (or increasing scientific consensus).”
These biomarkers, O’Meara explains, were chosen to reflect the health of an individual across seven core health categories: nutrition, exercise, energy, sleep, alcohol, inflammation, and stress.
Put simply, he says, Drop Bio Health’s aim is to help facilitate the world’s transition to highly personalised and preventative healthcare.
“What we do at Drop Bio Health is an evolution of healthcare in a data-rich era,” he states. “The major goal and eventual benefit of WellBeing is to develop a biological fingerprint of each member in order to give them specific insights and targeted habit adjustment to maximise their health.”
Jim Liddle, Drop Bio Health’s Head of Product, agrees, saying that WellBeing is a completely “new way to understand where you are at”, where you should focus your attention and how to track your progress.
“WellBeing gives you the ability to really understand your general health so you can focus your lifestyle efforts on the areas that matter,” he adds.
No one knows this better than Hayes St Clair, who after using the product was given an unexpected early warning sign recently himself.
“Yes, what I found in my most recent blood tests was that my nutrition markers really took a nosedive. I knew I hadn't been doing as much exercise as I should have and I knew life was slipping a little bit, but I didn't think it was that bad. However, seeing it on a chart was a bit confronting, I have to say!” he says.
So, he took the results to his doctor and found that his liver function tests were “off the chart”, which – his doctor explained –could be an indication that he might have an alcohol problem or that something else a bit more sinister might be happening in his liver.
“We went through two batches of blood tests to further focus on what was going on, and the results showed that my liver was, in fact, working harder that it should have to,” he explains.
Luckily, the results also showed that the situation had already started to resolve itself, but he has since been prescribed a set of treatments by his doctor in order to restore liver function fully. For Hayes St Clair, his experience was encouraging.
“WellBeing did exactly what it was supposed to do: it gave me early warning for a change that I wouldn't have ever known about – and it could have gotten a lot worse, but it didn't,” he says. “Plus, my doctor saw our product as a helpful ‘clue’ that could make her life a little easier.”
Drop Bio Health’s WellBeing service isn’t just a one-off test, however. Instead, O’Meara describes it as a “preventative rather than reactive” product that is best used as a long-term experience and a companion for healthy ageing.
“It is often the change in biomarkers over time (as in Hayes St Clair’s case) that is the most important to monitor in order to understand how our day-to-day habits affect our health,” he says.
This “detection of change in biomarkers”, he adds, is key for early warnings and preventative health, and it’s a feature the team at Drop Bio Health prides itself on.
For Liddle, however, the message he would like members to receive is even simpler. It’s time, he says, to take control of your health now and in the future.
“Life has a bad habit of getting in the way of us achieving our health goals,” he explains, “but if you can understand, act on, and track your health using a simple at-home blood test, you will firmly be in the driver’s seat. So, take control of your health and make WellBeing your good habit in life.”
Take the WellBeing Test Today.