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Macau Matters: Nano Blood Sampling - taking out the fear and pain

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image Richard Whitfield

Like many people I fear and dislike injections and needles. Moreover, I am now older and the doctors seem to love taking samples of my blood, which I hate. The other thing that I really do not understand is why they need to take so much of my blood - a full test tube every time, just so they can do about 20 tests.
The whole process of taking and testing blood does not seem to have changed much for many years - sticking a needle in your arm and draining 100+ millilitres from you, and then sending it off for testing, which always takes weeks to complete. It is a very big industry worldwide - just think of how many people you know who have recently had their blood tested.
Some studies show that nearly 1/2 the people who have blood tests recommended never actually follow through and get the testing done. Many are just too scared of the needle and blood drawing process, and others just don’t want the stress and fear of waiting for the test results.
Luckily, for everybody a young woman named Elizabeth Holmes had an idea to change the whole blood testing industry ten years ago, and dropped out of Stanford University in California to raise venture capital and start a company to develop her idea.
The result is Theranos Inc. which now offers blood testing where they only need to take one drop of your blood and run nearly 200 tests on it - for everything from blood typing and cholesterol to HIV, Syphilis and Respiratory Virus - and give you the results in a few hours (see www.theranos.com). What is more they only charge half of the standard US Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates for their tests.
This is looking to be a revolutionary change in the global blood testing industry - very quick, easy, painless and inexpensive blood testing - which means that people at risk can get regularly tested without difficulty. More importantly, regular testing means that trends and changes in the person’s blood and health can be more effectively monitored and treatments can be tuned to the patients specific reactions.
As somebody who now gets his blood tested every six months, and dreads each visit to the medical clinic where they draw my blood, I would really like to see Theranos start operating in Macau, and I do not see why the Health Department cannot make it happen.

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Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on new-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT