Medical Technology Start Ups

Lab Rats, Theranos and Geo-Fencing

theranos and silicon valley story

Theranos has a clever sign. Nice. I like it. It is sitting in front of its new home, under construction on Page Mill Rd in Palo Alto. It’s a large campus. Very large. Biggest start up building I have ever seen. Facebook started as a collection of small offices on University and Hamilton Avenues.

But Mark didn’t have the backing of the government. Then.

Notice anything about this building? Does it remind you of another building in progress? Looks like a small version of the new Apple. Sort of.

theranos, silicon valley story

Theranos in Progress, Page Mill Rd, Palo Alto

Lab rat – that would be me…and others like me. When I ask myself what is Theranos doing and why is it so huge before it opens and why do I care, I come back to my lab rat time.

That’s me as a kid. Dad was an M.D. and he had a lab in his office. There was a lab tech, a tiny room, glass lab equipment and me. I loved that little room and the magic that went on there. In came bodily fluids and out came results. The alchemy of it was magical.

But now we have micro testing, no little labs in doctor’s offices. That’s fine. Change is good and we can say good-bye to the old way. But I recognize that one haven in a small kids life that I loved is gone. No tears need be shed, this isn’t that kind of story. But bring in Geo-Fencing and childhood then and now is clearly seen. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich introduced me to the term via his CES Keynote. In one amazing presentation, smart emerged from the closet. Out came wearable tech, and smart watches and smart kid’s clothes, and ways to know your child’s every move in space and time.

We are going to have to learn how to be smart. How to use the new, new thing, which is now, IoT or Internet of Things. We are keeping track of everyone, everywhere by objects that tell us lots and lots of data points about everything. Obvious conclusion in my leap frog mind: where’s the rebellion? I had a lab to hide in, get away from parental overseeing, talk to a person I would not otherwise know, “Why is that stuff coming out of that machine looking different?” and it was heaven in my haven. In the summers I had a forest, a lake and trails to learn in. We discovered caves and creeks and old trails and stone foundations. I know that today’s kids will not be able to wander through nature like this, nor will they want to. It isn’t paradise lost, but new ways found.

Kids rebel. What form will a 14 year old use to escape eternal smart overseers which is the very environment he lives and breathes in? Will the invisibility cloak be fast tracked?

The Meaning Behind the Smart and Wearable, Trackable and In Your Face World

These are transformative times and it happens as we go about and live our everyday lives. We don’t know how much is being lost; no one is counting,”This is the last time,” “This is not going to be done this way anymore”. But giving kids geo-fencing is enormous. Iconically so. Geo-fencing, the day the music died. But let’s spring hope from the cosmos as we always do and say, “There will be chaos as we move to this newness, this different mode, this Land of Smart Things but we are adaptable and evolvable, as always.”

This is not just Internet of Things, this is the Internet of Technology.

Here’s to the new lab in downtown Palo Alto, located at the corner of Happy and Healthy.

Theranos at Walgreens, Palo Alto

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