Coming soon (but not soon enough!) near-painless blood draws

The only thing worse than having blood drawn is how much of it needs to be drawn. Just when you think you’ve reached your limit on needle sticks and bruising, a tech comes at you with yet another vial that needs to be filled. Entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes figured, as most of us do, there had to be a better way. Unlike the rest of us, she actually created one.

Much less intimidating.

Much less intimidating.

Starting from the premise that too much blood was required for accurate diagnosing, she and her team developed a new method of analysis that needs only a finger-prick’s worth of drops to run hundreds of tests. Her company, Theranos, is partnering with Walgreens to offer walk-in testing clinics, called Theranos Wellness Centers.

Better still, according to Wired: “The company plans to charge less than 50 percent of the standard Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. And unlike the rest of the testing industry, Theranos lists its prices on its website: blood typing, $2.05; cholesterol, $2.99; iron, $4.45. If all tests in the US were performed at those kinds of prices, the company says, it could save Medicare $98 billion and Medicaid $104 billion over the next decade.”

While a few Theranos Wellness Centers are already open in selected areas, Walgreens is still in the process of rolling them out nation-wide.