A recent interview with Elizabeth Holmes in this months Wired Magazine (see here) brought to my attention a great medical innovation. The company she founded, Theranos, aims to revolutionize one of the most common and invasive tests in all of medicine: the blood draw.
There are around 1 billion (1,000,000,000) blood draws performed in the USA alone each year. The cost is many many billiions of dollars to our health care system. Most patients in a hospital have their blood drawn every day, and most people that get their annual check up will inevitably need some tests done to ensure their body is healthy.
The contents in our blood provides so much important information about our health. Yet, the method of drawing blood hasnt changed in decades, despite so many amazing advances in most other fields of medicine. In fact, a lot of studies show that the pain of having blood drawn is a major blockade to otherwise good patients getting the necessary testing. Apparently Elizabeth and I are not the only people afraid of needles. We have all had that bad experience where the nurse just cant find your vein, and you go home with bruises all over your arm.
Theranos hopes to change all of that.
The technology allows doctors to get all of their information from just a drop of blood, instead of a vial of blood. This means no more big needles. Just a small prick at your finger tip. The technology also improves efficiency of information gathering, and the costs to our health care system will drop by 50%.
If you have insight about this company or another that you think will have a big impact on the future of medicine, please post a comment or contact us.