Myrios are running adverts on the London tube.
This company offers blood testing for various conditions. I am troubled by the evidence and practice of their testing.
“We always advise you visit your local pharmacist who will be able to recommend the right test based on your health concerns.”
They also say, in their FAQs,
“When should I get a test?
With all conditions, preventative medicine is key, so it is important to check your health and wellbeing periodically, especially if you feel or notice any changes.”
This is not only wrong, but misleading.
First of all, if you have symptoms ‘any changes’ – you don’t need a single blood test (and how would you choose which one?) but to discuss your symptoms with a doctor, who should work with you to decide what to do, which may not just involve blood tests – and it may not – but clinical examination or other interventions.
Second, the idea that we need a check of our ‘wellbeing periodically’ via one of their blood tests simply isn’t true. These tests are being offered as screening tests, and screening, as I keep on saying, is complicated, with pros and cons. The UK National Screening committee looks at each screening intervention and makes recommendations based on the evidence.
Then there is the problem of false reassurance. For example, testing for syphilis isn’t usally done in isolation – if there is a concern about a sexual infection, for example, multiple tests for many other pathogens are usually run.
And of course, there is the maddening problem of the NHS being left out to sort out results, as Myrios say “You should always speak to your doctor (GP) about your results.” This is very unfair. Normally, before any tests are done, the doctor explains the purpose of the tests and ensures they are done with the cost/benefit ratio is reasonable. Myrios are running tests as screening tests, without NHS approval for them being used as such, and then expect the NHS to deal with them.
It’s a bad deal for the NHS and for the people taking up the tests.