Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend the Theranos presentation at the AACC 2016 meeting in Philadelphia. While several outlets have already reported on it (Wired did a particularly good job with their write-up), I wanted to give a few of my thoughts as a laboratory professional.
- Holmes didn’t present information or data on their Edison platform. Instead, she presented on a whole new tabletop device called the MiniLab.
- Essentially, the MiniLab is just that–it’s one machine that performs (dozens? hundreds? that part is unclear) tests on patient samples. It appears to be a counter-top sized analyzer, and will be able to perform chemistry, hematology, and immunology tests from one sample.
- Most of the data presented was performed using the MiniLab and venous blood samples.
- While the box is indeed small and all-inclusive, non of the tech inside–at least, as far as I could tell–was revolutionary or groundbreaking in anyway.
- There seems to be a lot of waste. The cartridge includes the consumables to do dozens of tests, but what if a patient only wants, say, a CBC performed?
- I’m finding it hard to believe that this analyzer would make laboratory testing affordable. Accessible, maybe, but it’s not going to be cheap.
If you’d like to see the presentation and the Q&A, you can watch it on YouTube.
If you’d like to see the slide deck with Holmes’ presentation, it’s here..
-Kelly Swails, MT(ASCP), is a laboratory professional, recovering microbiologist, and web editor for Lab Medicine.