The Theranos finger prick blood test for herpes has been approved by the FDA, thus gaining significant credibility among peers and patients alike.
Theranos is a startup company that focuses on developing new and improved technologies that could be used in healthcare. Its innovative herpes virus test only needs a tiny drop of blood in order to detect the presence of the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1). In addition, the test costs only $9.07, which makes it extremely accessible to everybody who needs it.
In case it sounds too good to be true to you, then a great many scientists would agree with you, because the Theranos line of tests was met with quite some skepticism by the scientific community.
For the moment, the exact methodology behind the test remains secret, as the company has not disclosed the entire process just yet. However, the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has awarded it with its approval gives it great weight, in spite of all the secrecy.
The FDA is widely renowned for its complex testing periods and for its strict requirements. Therefore, if the Theranos test has managed to get passed them, then its methods might be trustworthy after all. It seems that the HSV-1 test has been tested on 818 subjects during the testing period, and the results have been perfectly in line with the requirements of the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The FDA news does validate Theranos’ core competency, but there is still a long road ahead (…)My biggest concerns would be around the interpretation of (blood work) results when there are urgent anomalies.” said DeciBio biotechnology analyst, Eric Lakin, in an interview with USA Today.
As Mr. Lakin points out, there is more to be done in order to build on the complete assurance that the Theranos methods are safe and reliable in all possible circumstances. Further testing will have to be conducted in order to reach the best version of the test.
However, the test will prove to be extremely useful because it is virtually non-invasive, which makes it accessible in a wide range of harsh situations. Furthermore, the test does not require trained medical personnel to perform it and therefore it could be used by anybody who needs it, without having to go to the hospital. This also makes the cost of the test decrease considerable, thus making it financially viable for a lot of people to get tested.
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