In 2003, 19-year-old Elizabeth Holmes founded a startup dedicated to making blood testing easier and more affordable. By 2015, her company, Theranos, was worth $9 billion. It boasted a star-studded board and contracts with national pharmacy and supermarket chains Walgreens and Safeway to bring Theranos technology, which could purportedly perform hundreds of tests with a pinprick of blood, to consumers around the country.
Over the next few years, however, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published a series of articles demonstrating that Theranos' proprietary technology produced inaccurate results, relied heavily on non-proprietary devices to perform its tests, and violated multiple regulatory standards. In 2018, after a three-year stream of revelations about the company's operating practices, corporate culture, and technology, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Theranos with fraud and the company soon collapsed.
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