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The Tech World’s Blood-test Darling Gets Nods from the FDA

The blood test is a cornerstone of modern medicine. In many cases, it provides evidence that turns a bundle of symptoms to a treatable diagnosis. It’s also inconvenient at best, painful at worst, and expensive.

The Silicon Valley company Theranos has an alternative — instead of a hypodermic needle and multiple vials of blood, Theranos technology uses a finger prick like the one diabetics use to measure their blood sugar. With just a few milliliters of blood Theranos can test for hundreds of things, from cancer biomarkers to cholesterol counts, illegal drugs to infectious diseases. What’s more, many of the tests are cheap. And in at least one state, the system doesn’t require a visit to a doctor’s office or a lab. But Theranos has been slow to deploy its system.