Afraid of needles? Us too. Just typing out that word made us dizzy. Anyone have some OJ we could sip so we can finish sharing some good news for fellow poke-phobes who understand the necessary evil of getting blood drawn? Theranos is a new company looking to reinvent the lab test. With their system, there’s no massive needles (let’s call them schmeedles from now on?), no waiting for appointments and no waiting days for results. Instead, there’s an affordable option for accurate, real-time diagnostic info. All it takes is one bitty pinprick and a tiny drop that could save us all serious cash on our healthcare.
If you have had your blood tested recently/ever you know how it works — you go to the doctor, you wait. You’re referred to a lab, you wait there. Someone draws a vial, sometimes more depending on how many tests you need to run, and you wait for results. Whether you’re afraid of needles or just intimidated by waiting and worrying for the report, Theranos is working to make the entire process a lot less scary.
With their system, you head to your friendly neighborhood phlebotamist who pricks your finger to take a drop of blood that can fit into a cute little “nanotainer.” Their Wellness Centers (located in Walgreens — très convenient) are tranquil, spa-inspired spots to help you reach the level of calm you should be at when dealing with your personal health. To help take some more stress out of the equation, they’ll even be open at times that make dropping by on your lunch break, while you’re running errands or on the weekends easy.
Theranos’ CLIA-certified lab can perform blood tests quickly and accurately giving you and your doctor results in hours. The cost for this wealth of knowledge is cheaper than you might expect — check out their menu here, which lists every test and price so you know what you’re paying for up front. Their rates are always less than 50% of what Medicare would charge and they accept major insurance carriers. If all tests in the US were performed at Theranos’ prices, the company estimates it could save Medicare $98 billion and Medicaid $104 billion over the next decade. Watch this video of Wired editor Caitlin Roper who shares her experience using the service. It made us hope for a Theranos center closer to our office!
Not only does Theranos revolutionize lab testing as we’re used to it, their ideals are in line with where we see the future of personal healthcare heading. With apps, smartphones and wearables that tell you your vitals in real-time and startups making doctor’s visits easier, more accessible and more affordable to do (even at-home!), this is the future of taking care of ourselves.
The first Theranos Wellness Centers is open in Palo Alto, CA and they hope to be coming to a Walgreens in your ‘hood someday.
Would you use Theranos? What other area of healthcare would you want to see a service like this in?