By Jessica Buettner
At 19-years-old, Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of her chemical engineering degree from Stanford University and used the rest of her tuition money in order to fulfill a new idea that would change the landscape of healthcare. Having a major fear of needles, she came to the conclusion that the current way of testing blood was slow, painful, and expensive.
Now at age 30, Holmes was set out to change that method and come up with a way that would eradicate the need for vials of blood taken, and for blood tests to be taken at the doctors’ office. Working on this secret project for the past 11 years, her company, Theranos, is now valued at nine billion dollars and is changing people’s lives.
The company’s technology only requires taking a finger prick of blood to be drawn from a patient in order to get fast and effective results. One drop can run 30 lab tests and are able to produce results in less than four hours.
“Our work is enabling everyone to be able to have access to the kind of testing information that could change their lives, no matter how much money they have, where they live, or what kind of insurance they have,” Holmes tells USA today.
“Theranos is a company dedicated to the belief that access to actionable health information at the time it matters the most.”
The Theranos Wellness Center is based in Palo Alto, California and they are partnered up with Walgreens. There are about 20 other wellness centers that have been established within several Walgreens around Phoenix. This will allow patients to walk into the store, have their finger pricked, and receive results within a few hours. The cost averages to around 30 dollars, and Elizabeth is hoping to launch Theranos in all 8,200 Walgreens across the country.
Holmes is the youngest self-made woman who is on this year’s Forbes 400 rich list; she owns 50% of Theranos, which is valued at an estimated $4.5 billion. She has a team of influential backers behind her company and she is getting great responses from patients who are using the Theranos diagnostic centers.
It seems that she has so many new plans for the future and it’s only the beginning of the new life that she wants to have.
“When I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, things got easy,” she told USA Today. “When you reach that moment when you’ve found what you’re born to do, well then you just got to do it.”
Her courageous actions and ambitious drive will soon alter the healthcare system nationally and benefit all those in need!