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Theranos Destroyed Crucial Subpoenaed SQL Blood Test Database, Can't Unlock Backups

Published by Slashdot on Tue, 12 Jan 2021


An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: Failed blood-testing unicorn Theranos trashed vital incriminating evidence of its fraud, prosecutors said on Monday. The imploded startup's extensive testing data over three years, including its accuracy and failure rate, was "stored on a specially-developed SQL database called the Laboratory Information System (LIS)," according to a filing [PDF] in the fraud case against Theranos's one-time CEO Elizabeth Holmes and COO Sunny Balwani. The database "even flagged blood test results that might require immediate medical attention, and communicated this to the patient's physician," we're told. Theranos claimed to have perfected technology that would allow industry standard blood tests to be run at great speed and with just a drop of blood, revolutionizing the health industry, and causing the business to be valued at $10bn. The reality, however, was that for one set of tests, the failure rate was 51.3 per cent. What does that mean' Prosecutors explain: "In other words, Theranos's TT3 blood test results were so inaccurate, it was essentially a coin toss whether the patient was getting the right result. The data was devastating." So devastating that the database was subpoenaed by a grand jury digging into fraud claims against Holmes and Balwani. But when investigators turned to take a copy of the database, guess what' From the filing: "On or about August 31, 2018 -- three months after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena requesting a working copy of this database -- the LIS was destroyed. The government has never been provided with the complete records contained in the LIS, nor been given the tools, which were available within the database, to search for such critical evidence as all Theranos blood tests with validation errors. The data disappeared."Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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