Is the Theranos Case an Example of Stretching the Truth or Just Lazy Reporting?

Is the Theranos Case an Example of Stretching the Truth or Just Lazy Reporting?

Theranos, a medical start-up based in Silicon Valley and known for its blood tests that allegedly only need a finger-prick’s worth of blood, has recently been drawn into a complicated case with the Wall Street Journal. The debate stems from how exactly Theranos administers a blood test. According to Fortune Magazine, the tests do not require a syringe, relying instead on a simple finger prick. Robert Parloff, the senior editor and writer of the article in question, later described this as a “whopping false statement.” In a response to the editorial staff, Theranos has since clarified how their tech works. Theranos Administers Hundreds of Blood Tests Theranos has more 200 different blood tests. Some, but not all, are run using the finger-prick method, and their other methods of venous draws only require a small amount of blood drawn. This is in contrast to standard tests that usually (depending on the test) require at least four vials of blood. Brooke Buchanan, Theranos’ vice president of communications, described Parloff’s write up as both “inaccurate and — ironically — misleading,” in a letter to the editor in Fortune. The main point of contention here is Parloff’s use of the word “misled.” In her letter, Buchanan states that Theranos had all its information publically available on its website. Their methods are not hidden or lied about, but it does call on someone to do some basic research to find it. One would think that a senior editor would be able to consult a website. Response to what Theranos Calls “Misleading” Claims In a response, Parloff admitted at least to a partial responsibility: “As...
Stanford Medical School a Leading Force in Complex Gene Therapy

Stanford Medical School a Leading Force in Complex Gene Therapy

For many people, genetic disorders are a very real, and incurable, problem. Immune disorders like psoriasis and blood borne diseases like sickle cell anemia affect millions around the world. With treatments costing thousands of dollars or more, the results are rarely worth the cost, but they are better than the alternative. Now, researchers at Stanford University have apparently found a way to make serious inroads in treating the untreatable. Led by Dr. Matthew Porteus, an accelerating research movement is using CRISPR- Cas9, a new technique, to try to cure crippling genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia and muscular dystrophy. What is This Compex Gene Therapy? A Palo Alto native, Porteus, 51, has watched as too many of his patients declined due to complications from blood and immune system diseases as potentially lethal as sickle cell anemia, severe combined immunodeficiency disease and beta thalassemia. Although these are all different diseases, they have one very important thing in common: they are all are caused by one mutation in one gene within a single cell type. Just one. With CRISPR, you excise the single bad gene, introduce a good gene, and some intensive chemotherapy will kill the remaining damaged cells and make room for new ones, which are then infused into the patient. They have tested and proven their approach with experiments on human cell cultures in mice, and they hope to begin human testing in 2018. The biotech firm, CRISPR Therapeutics of Cambridge, recently received an investment of $335 million from German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG to form a joint venture to research CRISPR-based treatments. Unfortunately, while single cell issues...
How Simple Google Cardboard Helped Save a Baby’s Life

How Simple Google Cardboard Helped Save a Baby’s Life

Born missing half of her heart and one of her lungs, doctors didn’t have much hope for baby Teegan Lexcen. Despite their doubts, she managed to survive for two months, while her parents began to look for someone, anyone, who might be able to help her. Little did they know that with the help of Google Cardboard, Teegan could be saved. Their search led them to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (NCH) in Miami, known around the world for specializing in pediatric surgery. There, the family found doctors who would take a chance on their daughter, with a truly surprising use of technology. The Plan for using Google Cardboard Dr. Juan Carlos Muniz, a pediatric cardiologist, took it upon himself to create a 3D model of young Teegan’s heart to help doctors visualize the problem and plan accordingly. Although the hospital’s 3D printer had been damaged, he was able to use Google Cardboard, a $20 cardboard box, to create 3D images of the problem. By using Google Cardboard in conjunction with Sketchfad, an iPhone app, Muniz was able to see Teegan’s heart in 3D. Since Google Cardboard goggles allow you to manipulate the image and see from every possible angle, he was able to build a much more complete model of her heart, which let them plan out the surgery far better than they would have been able to otherwise. With this added foresight, they decided the odds of success greatly outweighed the risks, and prepped baby Teegan for surgery. Success After a tense surgery, Teegan has since been taken off her ventilator and is now expected to make a full...
Stanford Medical Student Brings Google Glass in Healthcare

Stanford Medical Student Brings Google Glass in Healthcare

Pelu Tran is revolutionizing the healthcare industry by using Google Glass in healthcare as a means to save doctors hours of time. When he began caring for patients and working rotations in the summer of 2012, Pelu Tran began to realize just how much time is dedicated to record-keeping each day (roughly 35%). That is time that could be spent caring for patients and helping them resolve their medical issues. He used this experience when he co-founded Augmedix, a company that wants to automate the record-keeping process. He took a leave of absence from school to work on his company full-time, early in 2013. After recently making it to Forbes’ annual list of 30 key health care innovators under the age of 30 (the “30-Under-30: Healthcare”), he now lives and work in San Francisco, managing dozens of employees and raising venture capital abroad for the growing company. At last check, his total funding has reached more than $23 million. What Augmedix Does with Google Glass Augmedix, his company, has partnered with Google to provide monthly Google Glass subscriptions to doctors and healthcare professionals. When seeing a patient, verbal cues allow the doctor to access the patient’s files on the fly, and the appointment is recorded for posterity. When the appointment is over, the recording ends. Right now, the service is in use in 11 states, with 35 clinics taking part. After poor consumer response, Google has halted sales of Google Glass to consumers, but it will continue to contract use of the technology to specialized companies like Augmedix with needs that can’t be met by the current level of medical technology....
Exciting Events at Levi’s Stadium and Shoreline for “The Nest” Guests

Exciting Events at Levi’s Stadium and Shoreline for “The Nest” Guests

Many guests at The Nest in Palo Alto feel more than comfortable spending most of their time in and around the hotel. And why not? With natural beauty and flawless design, state of the art amenities, delicious plates and gold-standard service, everything you need is right here. Of course, it would be a shame not to explore the surrounding area during your stay, as you’re likely to encounter sights and experiences you can’t find anywhere else in the country. Two nearby venues – Levi’s Stadium and Shoreline Amphitheatre – are exciting destinations for guests of The Nest. One has a rich history spanning 30 years, while the other is still in its infancy, but both offer events you’re sure to love. Levi’s Stadium Levi’s Stadium is best known as the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, but there is a lot more going on than just football. The stadium opened in July of 2014, and many guests of The Nest like to make the 11 mile, less than 30-minute drive just to see the stadium itself. It covers 1.85 million square feet and seats more than 68,000, with 165 luxury suites. Three features that many visitors want to see are the green roof that sits on top of the suite tower on the stadium’s west side, the solar bridge that connects the stadium and main parking area, and the 20,000 square foot 49ers Museum that celebrates the team’s past. Some of the upcoming events for Levi’s Stadium that will interest guests of The Nest, include: Silicon Valley Construction Expo 2015 – September 16 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers...