The concept was irresistible: Theranos said it could take a few drops of blood from a simple finger prick to detect everything from H.I.V. to a diabetic’s A1C level. Relying on a proprietary technology to analyze the small quantities of blood, the private company offered a wide array of tests much more cheaply than existing blood tests.
Would that it had worked. Instead, the tests never were able to prove to work as advertised. It appears that the founder, Elizabeth Holmes, was able to fool the likes of George P. Schultz, Henry Kissinger, and Jim Mattis.
In addition to misleading investors about the promise of the company, federal officials charged the two with encouraging patients and doctors to use the company’s blood tests in spite of knowing they “were likely to contain inaccurate and unreliable results.”