Innovative Theranos Blood Diagnostics Could Save U.S. Billions

A company called Theranos has developed a revolutionary new way to draw and test blood, and the advance in phlebotomy could possibly save the United States billions of dollars in healthcare costs if widely adopted.

Theranos, and its innovative blood diagnostic techniques, are the brainchild of Elizabeth Holmes, who dropped out of Stanford University at 19 years old to found the company over a decade ago. Now 30, Holmes has built Theranos, a private, Palo Alto based corporation, into a thriving company with 500 employees. According to Fortune, the company has raised more than $400 million from investors, and is effectively valued at $9 Billion.

No more huge vials to fill. At Theranos, we only need a few drops. #Theranos

— Lauren Osgood (@osgood_lauren) August 8, 2014

As Holmes built Theranos, she shifted from her initial ideas to developing a new and revolutionary technique for running diagnostic tests on a very small amount of blood; just a drop, in fact. From that meager amount of blood, Theranos is able to run dozens of tests, delivering the results far more efficiently and inexpensively than current methods. The technique is so efficient, in fact, that no test costs more than half of its allowed medicare reimbursement, according to Nationswell.

Theranos’ blood tests provide results within hours, matching the speed of emergency “stat” labs, and cost far less than independent or hospital labs. Due to the meager amount of blood needed, Theranos’ technique also minimizes discomfort for patients whose conditions require repeated blood draws. Not only are Theranos’ prices exceedingly low when compared to other labs, they post them online, a move that Fortune writer Roger Parloff calls “revolutionary in the notoriously opaque, arbitrary, and disingenuous world of contemporary health care pricing.”

Widespread adoption of Theranos’ blood diagnostic techniques could potentially “save the nation billions,” Parloff adds. He points out that America’s “$73 billion diagnostic-lab industry, which performs nearly 10 billion tests a year,” cost roughly $10 Billion each in medicare and medicaid reimbursements annually. As The Inquisitr has widely reported, spiraling healthcare costs have been one of the most challenging topics facing the country in recent years.

The ultimate goal for Theranos is to place a facility within five miles of just about every American. The company has partnered with Walgreens, which currently hosts 21 Theranos facilities in Palo Alto and Pheonix, envisioning a future where affordable diagnostic blood tests are widely available.

[Image via San Francisco Business Times]