In this week's New Yorker, Ken Auletta wrote a great profile on Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of Theranos, a company that is developing a new way to test blood with simple pin pricks at your local Walgreens. Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford to start the company, has recruited some serious board members, including a former CDC director and Henry Kissinger, to "upend the lucrative business of blood testing." Some highlight stats from the piece:
• According to Holmes, "between forty and sixty per cent of people who are ordered by their doctor to get a blood test do not" because of fear of needles. Some blood test companies dispute this; indeed, these stats come from Theranos' internal research.
• Theranos has opened blood test centers in 41 Walgreens stores so far.
• "A typical lab test for cholesterol can cost fifty dollars or more; the Theranos test at Walgreens costs two dollars and ninety-nine cents."
• The two big lab companies that do blood testing - Quest and Laboratory Corporation of America - generate 75 billions dollars a year in revenue.
Could Theranos shake the fold? Read the entire piece on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos here.