- JP Yim/Getty
Elizabeth Holmes addressed concerns about her company Theranos’ technology on Wednesday morning at the WSJDLive conference in San Francisco, saying there’s a gap in understanding between consumers and the company.
“People don’t understand what we actually do.”
Holmes went on to explain why Theranos has responded the way it has after a Wall Street Journal article pointed out some inaccuracies in the test’s results from the company’s proprietary blood-testing technology.
That includes her attendance at the conference.
“The most important thing is all of these questions from people in these communities matter,” she said. “That’s why I wanted to be here to do this and talk about them.”
At the conference, Holmes gave a rundown on which blood test technology is used on which blood samples.
For the finger-prick test, which collects a very small amount of blood, the sample is run only on proprietary (meaning Theranos owns it) technology. The only test approved to run on this technology is for herpes simplex, a virus that can cause contagious sores on the mouth or genitals.
The other tests Theranos provides, of which there are more than 200, are run on commercially available technology. Those blood samples come from blood getting drawn the conventional way, from a vein.
Holmes also explained the company’s use of dilution, an aspect of the progress that was particularly questioned by the Journal as something that could negatively affect test results.
“Dilution is a common step in almost every assay [blood testing companies] run,” she said. The Journal’s claim that Theranos used dilution on finger-prick samples so there would be enough to run on commercially available technology, she said, “that’s inaccurate.”