Forth is a digital health business pioneering personalised biomarker profiling. Starting with a small sample of blood, Forth analyses the body’s key internal biomarkers and reports the results directly to an intuitive online portal and app – this indicates areas that would benefit from improvement and provides recommendations and advice, allowing users to optimise their lifestyles to be their personal best.
Sarah created the business by sourcing an expert team of biochemists and medical doctors, including CMO Dr Nicky Keay, who worked together to identify the most relevant and accurate biomarkers for home blood testing including diet, fitness, general well-being and hormone health. Tests include nutricheck, baseline, menopause, thyroid checks, testosterone, cholesterol, diabetes, and more.
Since its inception, Forth has also developed Forth Edge, the only sports-specific biomarker tracking service in the world designed to help amateur and professional athletes optimise endurance, power and strength. The primary market is endurance athletes such as runners, triathletes and cyclists and builds upon the success of Forth. The service is designed to give a range of athletes all the key information they need to understand how their bodies work, and how to work with their bodies.
Overall, Forth is on a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of as many people as possible.
How did you come up with the idea for Forth?
In 2013 I started doing a number of research projects for early-stage digital healthcare companies. At the same time, FitBit launched its first product in the UK. I’ve always been a tech lover and I rushed to buy one, admiring how it had taken the concept of a pedometer but reinvented it into a product for the 21st-century digital consumer.
I loved how it engaged the consumer in data through simple engaging graphics however the information they gave was only part of the story and I felt there was a need for people to gain deeper, more meaningful information about their health which wasn’t readily accessible to them. That was my ‘aha moment’, I realised that we could bring a digital approach to traditional blood biometrics, and thus Forth was born.
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How has Forth evolved during the pandemic?
When the pandemic hit, we had to quickly introduce new measures to ensure we could continue to offer a first-class service to our customers. As we already had an existing testing infrastructure in place it also meant that we could react to the need for Covid-19 antibody testing.
We were the first company to introduce this in the UK and it helped us to maintain our revenue streams as well as helping to give people more certainty during a time they needed it most. Covid-19 has really emphasised the importance of good health, which is what Forth is all about. This has also helped energise the whole team (during a challenging time) and the development of our 3-year roadmap which is focused on ways we can help people be in the best of health.
What can we hope to see from Forth in the future?
Last year we won an innovation grant from Smart Cymru to develop a unique product for women which utilises machine learning. As a female-led company with a female CMO we really want to do more to reduce the inequalities in female health and improve women’s understanding of their body. Our new product maps how an individual woman’s hormones fluctuate throughout her unique menstrual cycle rather than just on a single day, which is current practice.
We also aim to reposition female hormones as more than just concerning fertility, and instead as essential to a woman’s overall wellbeing. At Forth we believe we can no longer ignore the importance of menstrual cycle hormones as the barometer of women’s health and hopefully, our new product will be able to enable many women to have a better understanding of their hormone networks and in turn, a better grip on female-specific issues such as peri-menopause, PCOS and amenorrhea. The product will launch in May.