At 19, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford to start a company called Theranos. Why? She envisioned a way to reinvent old-fashioned phlebotomy - the process of making an incision in a vein with a needle. The name sounds pretty funky, but basically it’s when blood is drawn from your vein. There are a whole host of reasons you may need to give blood at your local pathology centre, but it usually involves drawing enough blood to fill a few vials so that different tests can be performed.
That’s where Elizabeth steps in. She didn’t like needles. Lots of people don’t. Over the last 10 years she has developed a new blood-testing method where, instead of needing vials of blood (one for every test needed), only a pinprick and a drop of blood is required. This is enough to perform hundreds of tests, from standard cholesterol checks to sophisticated genetic analyses. Not only that, the results are faster, more accurate, and far cheaper than conventional methods. Her company, Theranos, makes testing transparent and inexpensive, with costing listed on their website: blood typing, $2.05; cholesterol, $2.99; iron, $4.45.
Go Elizabeth. Go Science!!!