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If you like Elizabeth Holmes's story, you might also like:
Elizabeth Blackburn,
David Boies,
Sergey Brin,
Linda Buck,
Francis Collins,
Gertrude Elion,
Larry Ellison,
Judah Folkman,
Susan Hockfield,
Reid Hoffman,
Willem Kolff,
Eric Lander,
Robert Langer,
Robert Lefkowitz,
Larry Page,
George Rathmann,
and James Watson

Elizabeth Holmes's
recommended reading: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

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Elizabeth Holmes
Elizabeth Holmes
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Elizabeth Holmes Profile

Health Technology Revolution

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  Elizabeth Holmes

At age 19, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of college. Ten years later, she was the youngest woman in the world to become a self-made billionaire. She had entered Stanford University as a chemical engineering major, but after asking herself, "What is the greatest change I could make in the world?" she set out to create a new technology that would process medical tests faster at lower cost. She left school in 2003 and -- with the money her parents had saved for her education -- started a company to develop her patents. A little more than ten years later, that company, Theranos, was valued at $9 billion, with Holmes herself retaining more than 50 percent ownership.

Rather than physically shipping vials of blood to a centralized location for testing, Theranos draws a few drops into a cartridge that is loaded into a compact device for analysis. Results are sent wirelessly to a secure database, potentially reducing the errors and delays that occur with human handling. In theory, up to 30 tests can be performed on a single sample, and the results are shared directly with the patient.

Major pharmaceutical companies have partnered with Theranos to create new drug tests, and Walgreens announced plans to open Theranos "wellness centers" in all of its 8,200 pharmacies. The low cost of Theranos blood tests promised to save patients, insurers and the government hundreds of billions of dollars in the next decade, while empowering consumers to manage their own health care.

Lingering doubts about the effectiveness of Theranos techonology have dogged the company since its inception. In the face of mounting criticism, the Securities Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's office announced investigations of Theranos in 2016.

This page last revised on Apr 21, 2016 20:10 EDT
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