Elizabeth Holmes was in college when she designed the first “technology layout” that would enable her to become a billionaire while still in her 20s. And no, she didn’t create a social media platform filled with Likes and Pokes. In fact, she’s against poke–that’s the point. Elizabeth Holmes is more into pricks. Her company, Theranos, has engineered an entirely new way of taking blood from patients (a painless prick, no syringe) and then a system for testing blood that can give back broad, actionable results from just those few drops instead of ounces. Kids, seniors, cancer patients–anybody who routinely goes through the rigmarole of blood tests–should be grateful for Ms. Holmes (you want to call her Dr. Holmes, but she’s not an MD) and her college vision. Oh and the tests are less expensive than traditional blood tests.
Walgreens will putting Theranos Wellness Centers in its pharmacies all of the US. In Palo Alto–where else?–it’s already up and running. The Theranos process is a series of closely guarded secrets protected by a few dozen patents. There will be blowback from the testing industry that Ms. Holmes is disrupting, of course–calls for more transparency, efforts to undermine the accuracy of Theranos results can be expected. But the idea of a secret science lab may not scare of consumers as much as the competition hopes. Consumers will probably like the ease, price and lack of pain too much to worry the process. Besides, consumers don’t find what happens in traditional blood testing labs so easy to understand either.