Elizabeth Holmes is America’s youngest female billionaire, and a college dropout! Holmes left Stanford University at 19 years old with a mission to start her own company and change the world – now instead of waiting like most people do for a completed degree. As she puts it,
“What I did was just to start a little earlier.”
So she cashed out the money her parents had set aside for her tuition, and put it towards the beginnings of a massive undertaking – revolutionizing the way we provide health care to millions of American people, by way of the $76 billion dollar laboratory-diagnostic industry.
Apparently, the way we draw and test blood samples for diagnosis and illness detection has not changed since the modern clinical lab emerged in the 1960s. So Holmes felt it was about time for innovation.
She did so with her new company’s Theranos Wellness Center, which features – besides calming music, diverting magazines and relaxing decor – a blood test that requires no more than a small, relatively painless pin prick, gathering an amount of blood smaller than a dime. She’s developed a way to run up to 70 lab tests on just this one drop of blood, in less time and at less cost than traditional tests.
No more filling multiple vials. No more tourniquets.
Holmes hopes this considerably greater ease of testing will encourage more Americans to get tested and help detect illness earlier on, since lab results dictate 80% of clinical decisions according to the American Clinical Laboratory Association. This is something Holmes considers vitally important, having watched her father’s career in humanitarian assistance with USAID.
“Forty to sixty percent of Americans today are not compliant with even the basic tests that their physicians give them when they do see them, because often they can’t afford it, or they are scared of needles.”
So Holmes struck a deal towards her ultimate goal of putting her Theranos Wellness Centers within five miles of every American (or one mile for people in big cities). She’s partnering with Walgreens pharmacies to make that happen, by putting her Wellness Centers inside existing Walgreens stores. They are already all over California and Arizona, and plan to rollout to another 8,200 neighborhood Walgreens across the country soon.
Now that’s an inspiring story, of one Tough Cookie who refused to wait to realize her dreams and make a difference in the world. She’s channeling her own incredible inner strength to build something that will help millions of other people live stronger and healthier as well.
Source: CNN Money
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