Elizabeth Holmes took the stand for the third time in her trial and expressed remorse for what happened at Theranos but denied any wrongdoing on her part. If you’re not familiar with Elizabeth Holmes, she was the former CEO and founder of Theranos.
At the heart of Theranos was a proprietary technology that could analyze blood from a prick of your finger. Convenience and comfort weren’t the only supposed advantages of these devices either. Elizabeth Holmes claimed that the technology could reveal a wealth of health information with just a few drops of blood. They would be able to detect things like high cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and even the presence of cancer.
Traditional lab tests can tell everything from blood samples, but with several machines and a longer timeframe. Theranos and Holmes said their “nanotainers” would show results within mere minutes. Not just that, but they’d be more affordable than traditional testing methods too. If that sounds a little too good to be true, you’re right.
In her third day of testimony during the high-profile criminal trial, Holmes acknowledged making some mistakes as CEO of Theranos, a company she founded in 2003 when she was just 19. But she repeatedly emphasized that she made most of her decisions with the help of other executives and a respected board that included former cabinet members in various presidential administrations.
“It is never smooth,” she testified. “There’s always challenges.”
Theranos eventually collapsed after a series of explosive articles i n The Wall Street Journal and an audit by federal regulators exposed serious and potentially dangerous flaws in the company’s blood tests. The scandal wiped out Holmes’ fortune, which was estimated at $4.5 billion in 2014 when she was the subject of a glowing cover story on Fortune magazine.
Holmes testified that Theranos stayed silent because it had created an “invention” that could process small blood samples on conventional testing machines. The company didn’t tell Walgreens or anyone else to protect that trade secret from possible theft by a larger and established testing company, she claimed. “They had more engineers than we did,” Holmes said.
Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos eventually folded, resulting in her being on trial now for promising more than they could deliver and being accused of lying to investors. Check out the full AP News report on the trial on their website.