Washington— Elizabeth Holmes has been under public scrutiny after a reporter stated that the blood-test machines Theranos weren’t as effective as the entrepreneur claimed.
Theranos, the healthcare company founded by Holmes, managed to obtain an investment from Safeway and Walgreens that went over $100 million after she stated that the company had come up with machines able to perform accurate blood tests using a minimal quantity of blood, which would make for cheaper blood tests that could be easily taken at a local pharmacy.
The claim earned Holmes international recognition. She was acclaimed by the White House, where she was invited to a meeting on global entrepreneurship lead by President Obama, and was given a place between the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. Holmes was also present in a live interview with Bill Clinton, who praised her company’s achievements.
Additionally, the entrepreneur was featured between Time’s 100 most influential people in 2015 and was awarded as “Woman of the year” by Glamour Magazine.
Her good reputation and the huge investments her company had been receiving came to a halt when investigative reporter John Carreyrou wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Therano’s claims about their blood-test machines were misleading to the public and federal regulators, since they were delivering highly inaccurate results from the blood samples that the company tried to hide from its investors.
Although Theranos has denied all accusations against them, the public has started to think of the company as “secretive”.
“We have a small army of people ready and willing to test Theranos’s products if they’d ask us, and that can be done without revealing any trade secrets. You have to subject yourself to peer review. You can’t just go in a stealthy mode and then announce one day that you’ve got technology that’s going to disrupt the world,” said Jerry Yeo, a clinical and toxicological chemist from the University of Chicago, in an interview with New York Times.
John Ioannidis, a professor of Medicine and Health Research and Policy from Stanford’s Meta-Research Innovation Center, added that stealth research created ambiguity about what evidence could be trusted.
Source: The New York Times