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2003
2016
Theranos. Edison device
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Theranos developed a blood-testing device named Edison. The company said the device uses a few drops of blood obtained via a finger-stick, rather than vials of blood obtained via traditional venipuncture, utilizing microfluidics technology.

Theranos was founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes with the goal of streamlining and standardizing blood tests by creating a hand-held device.

Holmes founded a software company and worked on a protein microarray for the detection of SARS in Singapore, and left Stanford University at age 19 while a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering, to start Theranos. Holmes' Stanford chemical engineering professor Channing Robertson had encouraged her in the endeavor, and joined the board of directors. By the end of 2004, Theranos had raised at least $6.9 million, the first $1 million an investment by Tim Draper, a founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

The company had raised $16 million in two rounds of initial fundraising, and $28.5 million in a third round in 2006. In 2010, Theranos raised an additional $45 million from a single unnamed investor, bringing its total funding to more than $70 million. Investors included ATA Ventures, Tako Ventures, Continental Properties Inc., and Larry Ellison, former CEO of Oracle.[7] With this funding, the company was valued at more than $1 billion.

 

Source: Wikipedia

At the end of 2014, according to The Wall Street Journal, the company was still carrying out less than 10% of tests using its own lab instruments. In December, Theranos used its own Edison machines — named after the inventor — for just 15 tests.

According to The Journal, the company actually used traditional machines bought from companies like Siemens for most of its tests during the time period examined by the newspaper. To use traditional machines, Theranos had to dilute some of the smaller samples it collected. It appears that Theranos carried out another 60 tests using this method in December 2014.

This method caused some problems, according to The Journal:
Some of the potassium results at Theranos were so high that patients would have to be dead for the results to be correct, according to one former employee.

This is because, lab experts told The Journal, "finger-pricked blood samples can be less pure than those drawn from a vein because finger-pricked blood often mixes with fluids from tissue and cells that can interfere with tests."

The company's general counsel, Heather King, denied that were any problems with the potassium test, telling The Journal that Theranos had no indication that "inaccurate results were returned to patients."

Theranos fought The Journal throughout its investigation, especially when it came to patients who offered up their medical records and the healthcare professionals who interpreted them.

Theranos reportedly carried out another 130 tests using ordinary machines and larger blood samples drawn with a needle from veins in patients arms in December 2014.

 

About this event in a different language: русский

Source: Business Insider

Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos
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Elizabeth Holmes

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Elizabeth Anne Holmes (born February 3, 1984) is an American businesswoman, and the CEO of Theranos, a blood test company founded in 2003.