by Dr. Nithin Jayan on  February 1, 2014 at 12:06 PM Health Watch
Robots may be Used for Blood Draws or the Placement of IV Lines
Blood collection may soon be automated! The world's first automated venipuncture medical device has been developed by a team of researchers from VascuLogic, LLC. The new medical device can perform the phlebotomy procedure with ease, either for blood draws or the placement of IV lines.

The device was found to have greater than 95% first stick accuracy, and performed better when compared to human phlebotomists. It enables faster blood drawing with accuracy. Difficult venous access is a common problem worldwide; multiple punctures is responsible for patient discomfort. This is particularly troublesome in case of children: 82% of pediatric population suffer from trypanophobia, the fear of needles. Multiple needle sticks are associated with increased pain, loss of time, and increased patient and parent anxiety.

The new device can detect and perform the venipuncture usually in one stick and with great accuracy; it relies on detailed and high quality images of the vein and its surrounding area. Improved technology with ultrasound and 3D reconstruction of the vein has reduced the need of multiple attempts during venipuncture.

"We are encouraged by the autonomous device as it demonstrates a solution to alleviate the anxiety both parents and children experience with a phlebotomy procedure," said Tim Maguire, Ph.D, the CEO of VascuLogic. "For children and their families having to bear difficult or multiple needle sticks, the fear of a visit to their doctor is very real. Therefore, any peace of mind we can provide, particularly when a child is fearful or needs ongoing venous access, would be of tremendous benefit."

The innovation, though originally developed for pediatric hospitals, can also be applied to adult patients too by using appropriate gauge needles.

The news is indeed promising; the new technology can revolutionize phlebotomy by providing safer, faster and more accurate venous access than manual method. But how long will it take to reach every nook and corner of the world? Will it be actually cost effective and practical when applied to the developing world? Well, let us wait and watch!

Reference: Portable robot for autonomous venipuncture using 3D near infrared image guidance; Alvin Chen et a; Technology

Source: Medindia

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