Routine diagnostic testing will soon be available at a pharmacy near you, providing lifesaving results within a matter of minutes…
One would think that with all the technological advancements that are achieved every single year, a simple blood test should be one of the easiest medical procedures to make more efficient for patients.
Yet, that’s far from the case.
Currently, if you want to get some blood work done, either your doctor draws blood from you at his office and then sends it to a lab for testing, or your doctor refers you to a lab directly.
Either way, you need to get poked and prodded with a needle in order to draw one or more vials of blood.
After which, the samples require a few days of testing, then the results are sent to your doctor. Another appointment then needs to be made to see your doctor to discuss the results. Of course you’re slapped with a nice medical bill at the end of it all.
Not exactly user-friendly, is it?
But thanks to a new generation of companies looking to improve the way the system works, there may be a better (and more profitable) future ahead for the industry.
One such company is privately held Theranos, a healthcare services company based in Palo Alto, CA. It’s currently developing a revolutionary new testing procedure for blood work.
Theranos essentially aims to take a mere drop of blood, and provide complete diagnostic results almost instantly – which would eliminate the multiple doctor visits, the third-party testing, and the wait for results.
Any blood work analysis will still require a physician to consult directly with the patient, but this is otherwise a completely self-sufficient process.
What’s more, it can be utilized for pennies on the dollar.
Headed up by founder Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos is able to conduct hundreds of tests from a single blood droplet, ranging from cholesterol checks to more sophisticated genetic analyses.
According to Holmes, the results are faster, more accurate, and far cheaper than conventional methods.
Holmes goes on to add, “By making it possible to run laboratory tests from a tiny sample, children, elderly, and those with chronic conditions or a fear of needles will now be able to partake in a new experience.”
Speaking of cheap, Theranos charges less than 50% of the standard Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates.
It’s even gone so far as listing all its test prices on its website. You can check out their full list of available tests along with price point here:
If all the tests were performed at these prices, Theranos says it could save Medicare $98 billion and Medicaid $104 billion over the next decade.
While that is all well and good, how does one gain access to Theranos’ services?
Patients will soon be thanking Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) for the solution to that problem.
Last fall, WAG piloted the first Theranos-operated blood-testing service in a Walgreens pharmacy in Palo Alto.
Plans are now in place to roll out more Theranos Wellness Centers at Walgreens locations throughout the US. Currently, multiple Wellness Centers have opened up in California and Arizona.
And unlike your typical doctor’s office, each Center will feature relaxing spaces with peaceful, spa-inspired environments.
Working with the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain that runs over 8,100 neighborhood pharmacies throughout the country, Theranos has a distribution channel unlike any other.
For Walgreens, the ability to offer a differentiated patient experience through such an innovative service, is more than likely going to bring a great deal of new foot traffic through its doors.
With its continual goal of finding new ways to provide comprehensive care to customers, Theranos certainly fits that bill for Walgreens. Likewise, adding another reason for customers to come into the store, buy new products and services, benefits Walgreens.
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