Case Study – Elizabeth Homes

Editor’s note: Welcome to a new feature – Case Studies! We will be profiling people bringing positive change to the world on the last Thursday of each Homes in postmonth.

Elizabeth Homes is a change agent!

She dropped out of Stanford as a sophomore and used her tuition money to found Tharanos. A decade later, the company has introduced a radically new blood testing service. The plan is to roll out the testing services nation-wide in partnership with Walgreens. Pricing is half that of traditional phlebotomy practices.

Tharanos’ vision: Make actionable health information accessible to people everywhere at the time it matters most.

How Phlebotomy is traditionally done:

  1. Someone with special training sticks a needle in patient’s vein
  2. Draw vials of blood (a big one for every 1 or 2 tests)
  3. Send them off to a lab
  4. Run expensive, labor-intensive and time consuming tests
  5. Wait days (or weeks) for the results

 The Tharanos method:

  1. Pin prick
  2. Collect a drop of blood
  3. Send them off to the lab
  4. Run highly automated tests – many tests can be performed on a single drop of blood
  5. Wait 4 hours for the results

 The big advantages are obvious, less pain to the patient and a radically reduced cost. Reduced anxiety since the patient only has to wait a few hours (not days) for the result.

 Other improvements:

  • Less human handling, less opportunity for error
  • More frequent testing means preventative tests and trend studies – testing today is mostly reacting to a “situation”
  • Less pain/fear means higher likelihood patient will show up for follow-up testing
  • Faster clinical trials – agile trial methods
  • Patient empowerment

This is the kind of world-changing technology that radically cuts health care costs while making huge increases in patient care.  Kudos Ms. Homes!

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