We are the champions my friend

I am reading ‘Bad Blood’, the book about Theranos: one of the biggest frauds that was ever foisted on the financial community and the world. It is the story of Elizabeth Holmes and her claim that she had invented a device that could deliver accurate, decentralized and cheap diagnostics using a drop of blood. Her claim, which caught the imagination of investors, the public, and even the laboratory medicine community, led to investment of billions in phantomware and ended in a predictable and spectacular crash.

Yet to me what is most interesting about this story, and what is often overlooked, is the key driver of this phenomenon: people want more of what we do. People want answers to the questions of what ails them, or how they can live more healthy lives. People want these answers in places they can easily access, such as pharmacies. Perhaps one lesson we can take from the tragedy of Theranos is that what we do in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (PALM) really matters. We should take pride in it, and continue to strive to make access to high quality diagnostic testing more equitable globally.