Should the Elizabeth Holmes Blood Finger Prick Test have been Barred


I have never liked the hassle of having to schedule an appointment for blood work. You go in  and they extract two vials of blood. Then you have to wait as long as a month for the results which usually amount to a guy with around half a million dollars in medical school debt trusting a computer generated report about the acceptable healthy levels of the various substances in your blood stream. The guy often helps the pharmaceuticals profit by recommending you consume expensive pills that will adjust these levels.

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos to circumvent a trip to the doctor for blood work.  Her medical testing business executed multiple tests conveniently and inexpensively  using only a finger prick of blood. Not to hard to anticipate opposition to her movement from the entrenched interests of many medical professionals Including the  blood drawing profession known  as phlebotomy. Many know of the difficulty of drawing blood from an arm, especially if it’s difficult to find a vein. Also it is frequently inconvenient to find a lab and testing can be expensive as noted by Michael Davidson writing for

This all sounds like great news for folks trying to avoid the headache of scheduling a battery blood work tests. However, a New York Times article by Pollack stated Federal regulators have denied  Elizabeth Holmes her right of owning or operating a medical laboratory for at least two years. The article is not particularly clear on why feds are taking said action other than mentioning her new method produces unreliable or erroneous results for the blood clotting test.

The fed ruling sounds fishy to me as the many medical professionals who are employed doing and supporting blood work could lose their jobs if  Holmes’ test becomes more robust.

Let’s face it, American consumers do not need a doctor to tell them if their monocytes or neutrophils concentration is too high. They just need to know IF it is high so they can modify their diet or change their lifestyle in a fashion that will correct the high concentrations.




2 comments on “Should the Elizabeth Holmes Blood Finger Prick Test have been BarredAdd yours →

  1. Do you have any proof at all of your claim? I get your logic that many would suffer financially if at home blood test could replace a phlebotomist.

    She had a noble and courageous dream of having a blood lab within five miles of every citizen which originated from her belief that monitoring individual health through frequent and inexpensive blood tests would be life extending breakthrough in early disease detection.

    Right now Doctors profit on the inconvenience they impose on Americans who don’t have the time to schedule appointment and figure out whether their health insurance covers everything.

    You may be right, that she got squeezed and fined by power players afraid she would wreck their careers, but you cited no proof.

    1. Sort of related to this thread is the commentary of Zoe Keating and Jeffrey Young:

    2. it’s virtually impossible to learn in advance how much medical care will actually cost, meaning when was the last time your attending physician actually told you what all your treatments would cost or even knew if you asked him
    3. Advocates for patients with serious medical conditions are enraged by the practice of “tiered” drug lists, which have become a popular way for insurers to limit their expenses.
    4. To keep premiums as low as possible(making customer more likely to purchase substandard policy), insurance companies are transferring cost of actual care on to their customers in the form of things like high deductibles and coinsurance, which requires patients to pay a percentage of the cost of their care, instead of making a fixed cost copayment.
    5. One of the reasons Zoe Keating has such a massive Twitter contingency is her unique name making her imminently Googleable.

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