Theranos, not to be confused with Thanos

So just what does this remind me of……?
Oh my God! It’s like they are identical twins!

Ok, so maybe I am exaggerating…..but I think it’s curious the company name is so similar to Thanos. It’s like they were trying to hide the name of the real CEO. “Thanos inc? Uh….no….it’s Theranos….yeah…that’s it…that’s the ticket!”

So let’s see if I understand this case….So Elizabeth Holmes had a brilliant idea (and I mean no sarcasm, this actually does sound like it would be a wonderful thing to do) back when she was at Stanford to develop a wearable patch that could monitor the patient and adjust the dosage of drugs and notify doctors of significant changes in patient’s blood variables.

On its face, a layman like me reads that and wonders 1) is there a science fiction book with this technology, 2) why was this not thought of before, and 3) what are the realistic possibilities for this kind of technology?

As for a partial answer to the first, science fiction has been predicting the future for a long time, but here is a simple list of items currently used by the medical industry that may or may not have been inspired by James Bond, but are awfully similar to things he uses in the films:

As to the second question: the best I can gather was a patent issued in 1995:

For some reason that does not seem accurate, I would swear I remember something like the modern patches from the late 80s and early 90s when my grandparents were in the hospital, but it is easily possible my memory is incorrect. At any rate, some technology that at least suggested a patch for recording heart rates was around by 1995.

As for the last question, evidently the idea is more than realistic, and some form of patch monitoring is extensively evident:

So, it seems to be a great idea, highly applicable, one that actually has it’s roots going back to ancient Egyptian medicine.

What could the problem possibly be?

To begin with, the corporate partners that Thanos…I mean Thanatos….I mean Theranos chose to work with were evidently nonplussed with the results.

After three years and $350 million dollars invested in retrofits, Safeway (holy hell, Safeway is still a thing?) backed out of a deal in 2015. Walgreens I guess was the next corporate behemoth to go ballistic from test failures, going so far as to sue the company (I hated them so much, I sued the company….) in November of 2016. (Mommy….Daddy….I’m thankful for the $30 million settlement….hush little Tommy, that won’t be settled until June of 2017, now shut up and eat your Turkey before it gets cold).

Whatever it was that caused the retail partners to back out, the big red flag hit in February 2015 (“Happy Valentines darling……here are accusations of fraud.” “Oh John….you shouldn’t have!”) Stanford Professor (Elizabeth’s alma mater) John J. P. Ioannidis was quoted in the Journal of the American Medical Association that no “peer reviewed research had been published in medical research literature.” Well….I can’t see any problem with that….

As scientific allegations began to mount, Holmes (elementary my dear Watson….we’ll turn to the government to fix our problems). She planned on having then Vice President Joe Biden tour the facilities. A fake lab was created in the hopes of deceiving VP Biden. All of this was reported in the December 25th Wal Street Journal. Which makes me wonder….did Biden know he had been hornswagled. How did the public come to know?

This is the problem with our current Democracy/Capitalistic market. We are not well informed. Ok…fine, we know now that this whole things was a fraud, but at the time, based off of the things that other people were doing, there didn’t seem to be any reason for several years to doubt that this was going to be a godsend to patients and to the market itself.

Pay no attention to the man….er….woman behind the curtain….

I still have questions. Why was there no peer review? Why are corporations willing to invest hundreds of millions in technology that is not peer reviewed? Why was Obama golfing instead of touring this lab (that last is maybe untrue).

What do you think? Please comment, let’s get a dialogue going about the corruption of modern science.


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