Forward brings an entirely new perspective to primary care, changing the way people think about and manage their health. Today we sit down with Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.
What made you interested in trying Forward?
Right now, so much of healthcare is focused downstream, on what are really symptoms of larger problems. I fundamentally believe that the current challenge with health and wellness is that interventions happen after the problem has occurred. Whether it be heart disease, obesity, diabetes or anything else, we are waiting until something is broken to try and fix it. Forward is different — they’reapplying the most advanced medical technology available to arm doctors with the tools to try and identify problems further upstream.
How would you describe Forward to friends?
A refreshingly new approach to healthcare that puts the patient at the center of the experience — the exact opposite of “cookie cutter” healthcare. It’s beautifully designed, there’s no waiting at all, your doctor spends an hour face-to-face with you during your Baseline visit, and your blood test results and biomarkers are discussed and evaluated in real time.
Thinking about your Baseline visit, what were the aspects that stuck out as new or different?
I never felt rushed, or like I was taking part in some kind of impersonal, mechanical process.A detail I particularly loved as I have tiny veins was an infrared light that immediately identified the best vein for blood draw — instead of a nurse poking around multiple times to find a vein!
Describe what being healthy means to you.
I learned about the importance of prioritizing well-being the hard way — collapsing from exhaustion in 2007 and breaking my cheekbone. Since then I’ve learned a lot about the connection between daily well-being and our health and productivity. That’s the central mission of Thrive Global. In Silicon Valley especially, there’s still a belief that burnout and sleep deprivation are signs of commitment, and just the price we have to pay for success. But as the science shows, if you don’t make the time to unplug and recharge, your performance and decision-making suffer. I can now see how prioritizing my well-being has made me much more effective. As they say on airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on first!
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