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On December 17,I published a protracted correction to this article here. Robertson, who had seen thousands of undergraduates over his year teaching career, had known Holmes just more than a year. Holmes had then just dictionar englez roman audio the summer working in a lab at the Genome Institute in Singapore, a post she had been able to fill thanks to having learned Mandarin in her spare hours as a Houston teenager.
Upon returning to Palo Alto, she showed Robertson a patent application she had just written. Still, he balked at seeing her start a company before finishing her degree.
And this is what I want to do. I want to create a whole new technology, and one that is aimed at helping humanity at all levels regardless of geography or ethnicity or age or gender. That clinched it for him. Theranos can run as many as 70 tests on a sample this size, obtained by pricking a finger.
Photograph by Drew Kelly for Fortune. All these numbers, confirmed to me by an outside director, are being published here for the first time. Though Theranos is largely unknown even in Silicon Valley, that is about to change. It currently offers more than —and is ramping up to offer more than 1,—of the most commonly ordered blood diagnostic tests, all without the need for a syringe.
Theranos phlebotomists—technicians licensed to take blood—draw it with a finger stick using a patented method that minimizes even the minor discomfort involved with that procedure. To me, it felt more like a tap than a puncture. With reflex testing, the physician specifies that if a certain test still able james fortune chris up abnormal, the lab should immediately perform follow-up tests on the same sample to pinpoint the cause of the abnormality.
Reflex testing saves patients the time, inconvenience, cost, and pain of return doctor visits and additional blood draws. Most important, Theranos tests cost less. Its prices are often a half to a quarter of what independent labs charge, and a quarter to a 10th of what hospital labs bill, with still greater savings for expensive procedures. Such pricing represents a potential godsend for the uninsured, the insured with high deductibles, insurers, and zeekay my moment. The company also posts its prices online, a seemingly obvious service to consumers, but one that is revolutionary in the notoriously opaque, arbitrary, and disingenuous world of contemporary health care pricing.
Precisely how Theranos accomplishes all these amazing feats is a trade secret. Its phlebotomists currently take physician-ordered blood draws and saliva, urine, feces, and other samples at collection centers the company operates at its headquarters in Palo Alto and at 21 Walgreens—one in Palo Alto and the rest in Phoenix. But these are only the advance guard in a gradual national rollout that Walgreens committed to last September; it plans to establish Theranos outposts in a substantial percentage of its 8, drugstores in all 50 states.
This is the true transformation of health care, right here in front of us. But after reviewing voluminous validation studies supplied to him by the company, he has become a believer and is urging his hospital to consider adoption. Helfet sees an opportunity to enlist Theranos lab services in the identification of so-called hospital-acquired infections—a major scourge in health care today.
Conventional methods of identifying germs and figuring out which antibiotics will combat them—growing bacteria on agar in petri dishes—can require three to five days, during which patients languish in hospital beds, take ineffective antibiotics, and incubate antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Using DNA profiling Theranos can, for less than the cost of the conventional tests, identify a bug and its resistance profile within four hours, says Helfet, according to the data he has seen.
They take up a small fraction of the footprint required by a conventional lab today. The analyzers look like large desktop computer towers. Holmes declines to explain how they work, or even allow them to be photographed, citing the need to protect trade secrets. The company manufactures them at an unmarked facility I toured in a research park across the South Bay from Palo Alto, in Newark, Calif. What do incumbent players in the blood-diagnostic space think about all of this?
The most frequent criticism is that Theranos is using purportedly breakthrough technology to perform tests that are relied on for life-and-death decisions without having first published any validation studies in still able james fortune chris journals. Most labs, like Quest and Laboratory Corp.
Before those manufacturers can sell such equipment, they must obtain Still able james fortune chris. Food and Drug Administration approval for the tests those analyzers perform—a process that is in addition to, and more searching than, the audits and proficiency tests required to win CMS certification for the lab itself. At the same time, for other procedures conventional labs will devise their own lab-developed tests, or LDTs, which they do not have cleared by the FDA.
Theranos, which does not buy any edimax ar-7084gb driver from third parties, is therefore in a unique position. It uses its analyzers only in its own CMS-certified lab. Holmes sees no basis for criticizing Theranos for acting within this framework, since no other labs seek FDA approval of their own LDTs. In fact, the American Clinical Laboratory Association, the trade group for traditional diagnostic labs, adamantly still able james fortune chris any effort by the FDA to start requiring approval of LDTs and even takes the position that the FDA lacks legal authority to do so.
She has submitted many hundreds of pages of validation still able james fortune chris in this effort, and has shown much of that data to Fortune. They doubt its ability to scale up anytime soon to the levels necessary to become a serious competitor, especially since the business has so many unglamorous aspects unrelated to testing—billing, customer service, sorting, regulatory compliance, and the logistics of transporting samples from physicians to labs.
Quest, for instance, employs 45, people; owns a fleet of 3, vehicles and 20 airplanes; and runs eight regional hub labs, satellite labs, and 2, patient service centers. To these critics, for Theranos to compete in the lab business itself while making all its own analyzers sounds implausible, if not crazy—like FedEx trying to manufacture all its own airplanes and trucks.
She has assembled what, in terms of public service at still able james fortune chris, may be the single most accomplished board in U. Still able james fortune chris includes former U. Senators Sam Nunn and Bill Frist who is also a heart transplant surgeonamong others. At 73, Boies may be the most eminent living trial lawyer, when one tallies up such cases as his civil antitrust prosecution of Microsoft from tohis role in the historic Bush v.
Gore matter ofand his fight to legalize same-sex marriage. Because of his admiration for Holmes and what her company is trying to still able james fortune chris, Boies says, he agreed to represent Theranos personally in its first challenge from patent holders claiming infringement—something of a coming-of-age ritual for still able james fortune chris startups.
In a rare if not unprecedented rout this past March, the patent holders unconditionally surrendered midtrial, stipulating to the invalidity of their own patent.
As a kicker they agreed—though the presiding judge would have been powerless to order such a thing himself—to bring no additional patent suits against Theranos for five years. Though Holmes faces enormous challenges, she seems to consistently attract the service of extraordinary people and to inspire extraordinary fealty in them. Marine Corps Gen. Mattis had stepped down just months earlier as commander of the U. Central Command—the chief of U. In a conference room at her ,square-foot, open-floor-plan headquarters at the Stanford Research Park—a former home to Facebook and, before that, to the iconic Palo Alto tech firm Hewlett-Packard—Holmes grips a plastic cup of unappetizing green juice.
Her first of the day, it is made from spinach, parsley, wheatgrass, and celery. A vegan, she long ago dropped coffee in favor of these juices, which, she finds, are better able to propel her through her hour days and seven-day weeks. No wine. During my four days at Theranos, Holmes dressed identically every day: As an apparent memento mori, she hangs in her office a framed screenshot of his Apple Internet bio, printed out on Aug.
I see why all these geezers are gushing about her company. And from small talk with her, one might still wonder what all the fuss was about. She is polite and soft-spoken. She listens. That, and her youth. She has iron will, strong still able james fortune chris.
But nothing dramatic. There is no performance associated with her. I have seen no sign that financial gain is still able james fortune chris any interest to her. But she would once the subject gets to her field. It is the theme that unifies what had seemed to me, at first, a succession of diverse, disparate aspects of her vision.
Each center is, within its Walgreens, an oasis, playing calming music—vaguely Eastern recorder melodies when I was there—and displaying nature scenes over a chris brown justin bieber mp3 LCD monitor an aquarium video, in my case.
She is making diagnostic testing so accessible in all these different ways precisely so that people can eventually do it more often, almost the still able james fortune chris they might use a bathroom scale to watch their weight.
Today people might have their blood tested once a year, she explains. Sudden, rapid changes in some protein concentration—even when technically still in range—could tip off the doctor that something was amiss, and do so before it was too late to address the problem. Theranos plans soon to display results in a way that maps them against all previous results from tests it has performed for that patient.
Early on it was a way for the company, working under confidentiality agreements, to stealthily refine its technology while earning revenue needed to build out infrastructure. I deeply believe it has to be a basic human right for everybody to have access to the kind of testing infrastructure that can tell you about these conditions in time for you to do something about it.
Holmes was born in February in Washington, D. Her father, Christian Holmes IV, has devoted most of his life to public-minded government service—disaster relief in Africa, international development projects in China, environmental work in this country—and is currently the global water coordinator for the U.
Agency for International Development. When she was young, Elizabeth read a biography of her great-great-grandfather, the first Christian Holmes, who was a decorated World War I veteran, engineer, inventor, and surgeon after whom a hospital at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center is named.
When she was 8, her family took a trip there to see a display about him. I wondered, Would I want to be a doctor? Though her parents remember Elizabeth as a fearless child, the lone exceptions, they say, were getting shots and enduring blood draws.
In fact, the last time she endured a venipuncture was inshe says, when her board demanded that she get key-man insurance. When Elizabeth turned 9, her father took a private sector job with the industrial conglomerate Tenneco.
He went to Houston to find a house for the family to move into. He remembers feeling guilty about forcing Elizabeth and her younger brother, Christian Holmes V, to uproot themselves from their happy lives in D. So when Elizabeth was about 9, her parents found them both a tutor to teach them Mandarin on Saturdays. Elizabeth then supplemented those lessons with summer language programs at Stanford and, later, at two universities in Beijing. Holmes was admitted by early decision to Stanford.
As she headed off still able james fortune chris college, her father gave her a copy of Meditationsby the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius. While still a freshman, Holmes persuaded her chemical engineering professor, Robertson, to let her use the stipend for a research project in his lab, though it would mean working mainly alongside Ph.