Let us start quickly by catching up. I decided a month ago to move to Palo Alto, California. Good bye Florida. As the clock ticks on my timeline, the West kept calling. Every cause, idea, and essentially anything exciting in my life seems to occur in the epicenter of the world; the Bay Area.
My first week here did not disappoint. Day one, I attended a lecture with the CEO of LinkedIN; Jeff Weiner. The topic: compassion. In a few words; we can advance mankind with a few minor adjustments in the way we interact with others. In fact, the science is supporting the health benefits of living in a compassionate way. In California, the golden rule is in effect from the top down, as a younger generation of leaders shapes the landscape.
I have been preaching for the better part of 4 years about prevention. After my bypass surgery at the age of 40, so many questions needed answering. The rush to surgery after lab results confirmed my near death situation begged the question; how did I not know my arteries were 90% blocked?
Health care as we know it today is doomed. Until we add one iota of prevention into the model, we will continue to react versus command. Imagine a sport where the only plays you run are defensive and there is no chance to score.
Theranos is a privately held company founded by Ms. Holmes 11 years ago. At the age of 19 she had a singular focus; providing data to the health care model. The average person exists in complete blindness from the millimeter below the skin. We have zero access to technology that was developed to help mankind thrive. Our current system has done a remarkable job insulating even the most basic information from our fingertips. Ms. Holmes is knocking down the walls.
Her technology replaces the incumbents age-old means with a far simpler, cheaper way of blood testing. With a finger prick, she can perform 30 blood tests, replacing the “torture” of drawing multiple vials of blood. Alone, this improvement would be extraordinary. However, she moves the bar higher, allowing us to stroll into a neighborhood Walgreens to perform the deed.
The magnitude of her contribution to health care will not be realized immediately. At the present time, we still have to fork over money to our MD to write the script. And in most States, if you don’t want to break the law, shell out some more dough to have the results read to you. I do imagine, Ms. Holmes has a plan to change this structure as well. Why stop at one disruption? Ideally; let me walk into a Theranos location, take a drop of blood, send me the results on my phone. Then provide me with a subscription membership to graph and record all my tests.
After my bypass surgery, I went completely vegan. A low oil diet, filled with high quality, organic, nutrients. I dropped the cholesterol medicine recommended and choose to take an active part in my health. I assumed complete accountability and resigned myself to be my own doctor. (Stanford Medicine article I wrote: A Moose no Longer) I have yet to find a doctor comfortable with this approach. I can read a blood test, and have become quite adept at lowering markers such as C Reactive Protein through diet. My dream is the ability to test my numbers often and to have the ability to test outcomes.
I see my dream becoming reality; thank you Ms. Holmes.