Earlier this week, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes gave a presentation to a group of scientists at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry conference. Expectations were high that the company would address some of its previous failings, which resulted in Holmes being banned from operating a lab for two years, among other sanctions.
But instead, the company used the opportunity to launch a new product: MiniLAB. Holmes didn’t once mention the company’s prior technology, Edison, which it had once claimed would revolutionize blood-testing by requiring a mere few drops of blood from a patient rather than a venous blood draw. That left me—and others tuning in—more confused than ever. Here’s some additional information that a Theranos spokesperson shared with me last night:
* The MiniLab is a pivot: “The MiniLab tech is the latest iteration of the company’s testing platform and an evolution of Theranos’s technology,” a spokesperson said.
* Theranos claims its scientific team was working on this well before the scandal: The current version is two years in the making. And the teams have been working on the general concept of a MiniLab for over 5 years, the spokesperson added.
* The device is very much still in the research and development phase, and is not approved by the feds. The company declined to provide a potential price point, which many scientists expect will be high given the individual cost of the components.
* It is intended for hospitals and small doctors’ offices, as well as other settings.
I’ll update you as I learn more!