Long-awaited Theranos presentation leaves questions about blood tests

The scientific community has been buzzing about it for months. Everyone has been wondering what embattled Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes would say Monday when she made her first presentation at a scientific conference.

As it turns out — it wasn’t what many attendees were hoping for.

Apparently those who were waiting for proof that Theranos’ signature finger prick blood tests work, or who just wanted a deep look into the science behind the tests, will have to keep waiting.

Even the presentation’s moderator, Stephen Master, voiced skepticism over Theranos’ claims that it can run more than 70 tests on a single drop of blood, telling Holmes “The evidence you presented fell far short of that,” according to Business Insider. Apparently that line got a round of applause from attendees.

Holmes took the stage at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s meeting in Philadelphia as she faces a two-year ban from the blood testing industry and intense scrutiny over her company’s technology.

On Monday she spoke about a new blood testing machine that is removed from that crisis — the miniLab. And she revealed a new test the company had developed to diagnose the Zika virus.

“We’re pleased to share our technologies with the entire laboratory industry,” Holmes wrote in a news release issued after the event. “It’s the beginning of the next phase of the company, as we introduce our technologies to the world. We also will be working with academic institutions and other independent parties to validate and publish our results.”

“The architecture of Theranos’ technologies, and the associated science and technology are sound,” wrote Susan Evans, a member of Theranos’ Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, “as was demonstrated today at the AACC Scientific Meeting.”

Photo: Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes in 2014. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)



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