Since John Carreyrou’s shocking article appeared in 2015, the Theranos controversy has dominated headlines and both intrigued and shocked people worldwide. We will uncover everything you need to know about the Theranos story. Continue reading to find out why did Theranos collapsed and what will happen next.
Why Did Theranos Collapse?
The management of Theranos has had numerous issues from the company’s inception. Most new biotechnology businesses will have Ph.D.-holding executives, as demonstrated by Amgen and George Rathmann in the 1980s and Walter Gilbert of Biogen.
Despite selling medical technologies, Theranos’ founder left the company after just two years of chemical engineering school.
Even if Holmes was still regarded as very clever, it could be a little imprudent for him to try to alter the medical technology landscape when he didn’t have the same level of expertise as someone who had spent years earning a Master of Engineering or Ph.D..
Additionally, she didn’t have any executives with Ph.D.s in medical technology who she trusted to provide her with wise counsel.
She was an extremely intelligent student with lots of ideas, but an awful premonition of Theranos technology occurred when a professor she worked with rejected several of her ideas because they were not technically feasible.
Let us critically analyze the factors that led to the collapse.
The Beginning of Theranoa Collapse
Problems surfaced quickly after Theranos was incorporated in 2004. Henry Mosley, Theranos’ chief finance officer, observed dissatisfaction among staff members following a technological demonstration in 2006.
Upon questioning his employees, Mosley discovered that they were dissatisfied with having to fabricate the demonstration and lie to Novartis due to Theranos’s frequently malfunctioning equipment.
Mosley was devastated to learn that he had overestimated future earnings because of his faith in Holmes’s concept and that he had never seen any proof of their technology operating. He addressed the issue with Holmes, and she fired him for not being a “team player.”
The main issue with this was that it was almost difficult for the technology to work and would never work.
he apparatus required a certain volume, and since Holmes was adamant about utilizing a blood prick, they would have to dilute the blood, which would distort the findings on analysis. This was one of the major issues that Theranos never managed to address.
The Question of Morality
Using Theranos Edison, which gave incorrect findings in real-life trials, was one of the worst things Holmes did at Theranos. This happened in 2008 when a major pharmaceutical company agreed to test Theranos’ technology on stage 3 and 4 cancer patients.
Holmes told her employees that the results would have no effect on the patients, but only a handful were aware that this was a falsehood.
Ana Arriola, an Apple product designer and one of Theranos’ initial hires, and Adam Vollmer, a mechanical engineer, questioned Holmes about this issue.
They were concerned about the bogus results that would be delivered to oncology patients in this trial and wanted the idea to be scrapped. All Holmes said to them was to either join the company or resign, and they both did so in 2008.
It got much worse in 2015 when it was projected that the technology had been deployed on over 176,000 people. Their tests would either misdiagnose patients by diagnosing them with an ailment that they did not have or would not diagnose them at all.
This would cause the patients to radically change their lifestyles, or they could not even be aware that they needed to change their lifestyles in the first place.
Theranoa’s Bad Management Issues
Theranos’ management was also having issues, as evidenced by Mosley’s termination and Sunny Balwani’s employment. In 2002, when Balwani was 18 years old and Holmes was 37, they first met before she enrolled at Stanford.
Balwani moved in with Holmes in 2005, and in 2009, he became the chief operating officer of Theranos. The lack of medical or biological science training that Balwani possessed was one of the main issues with this.
Although it wasn’t revealed to investors or staff, Balwani was also seeing Holmes. His lack of competence in biological science was evident to the company’s top researchers, who perceived him as a complete moron in meetings given his position as a top executive.
Balwani also had a serious issue with many of the workers since he would shout orders at them and humiliate them further if they disobeyed. Additionally, Balwani let go of employees so frequently that the remark “Sunny disappeared him” spread across the business.
This led to a hostile work atmosphere at Theranos, where a manager who lacked the necessary skills gave instructions and fired capable employees out of anger, creating a high turnover rate.
Theranos’s collapse serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of hype, deception, and a lack of transparency in the business world. It also highlights the importance of independent verification and the need to hold companies accountable for their claims.
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to remember that innovation should not come at the expense of patient safety and ethical conduct.