The first episode of The Dropout skews the story of Elizabeth Holmes’ original idea a bit, saying that she wanted to create a lab testing device the size of an iPod to allow patients to test their own blood at home with just one drop. (The actual story is better told here, here.) The ensuing Theranos saga of defrauding patients and investors and its contributing role to the confusing regulatory oversight of lab-developed tests is what people talk about now. Still, there is no question that Theranos played a role in this super-fast, crazy-convenient, at-home lab test revolution we are experiencing. Setting aside the very real questions about whether it is a good thing that people can self-diagnose without a doctor’s order, and who should be paying for self-diagnosis, we are wondering how to track the maybe-very-important-lab-results that people throw in the trash with their empty toothpaste tubes. The CDC “strongly encourages” people to report their positive COVID-19 test results to a doctor — but how many people are doing that? Helpfully, just a couple of weeks ago, NIH and public lab researchers celebrated a study that showed how reporting on self-testing was totally possible but would require a lot of commitment to get it up and running. If we are all just as committed to reporting at-home lab results as we are committed to making sure Pierce Brosnan is never again allowed to sing in a movie, we should be ok.
March 4, 2022 | 3 min read
March 4, 2022
Only What Matters in Health Information Policy
MyMaverick is a subscription service that provides access to analysis and news across the health technology policy landscape.Waiting List