This Robot Can Draw Your Blood

Some people are champs about having blood drawn and even go back as often as they're allowed to donate blood. If you're one of those people that's frickin' great. Go pat yourself on the back. If not you are probably thinking that you don't want a robot coming anywhere near you with a needle. But the robot might actually be the better bet.

A startup called Veebot is testing a prototype robot that they hope will draw blood faster and more accurately than a human. The goal is to automate both blood draws and IV insertions to make the process even more standard, and reduce complications. The robot has a tourniquet similar to a blood pressure cuff to make a patients' veins more prominent. It uses infrared light, a special camera and ultrasound combined with image-analysis software to choose a vein and confirm that enough blood is flowing through it. Then the robot lines up the needle and inserts it into the arm at the calculated correct depth. The whole draw takes about a minute plus additional time depending on how much blood is being collected.

Currently Veebot chooses the best vein about 83 per cent of the time, which is on par with the average phlebotomist. The company says it will work to get the rate to 90 per cent before attempting to enter clinical trials, though. Which is comforting for those of us who prefer not to interact with phlebotomists of any sort, be they human or robot. [IEEE Spectrum]


    The whole concept makes me both nervous and interested to try it...

    Sure, why not. What's the worst that could happen...

    I would be worried that it would be too rough. Also, 1 minute plus is not a time saving. Doesn't really seem worth it for the patient at least.

    does the robot change the needle/container, label and store the blood? still a long way to go but its a great start! id be up for the trials!

    I think anyone who's given blood before has experienced a nurse that can't find a vein to save themselves or takes 10 minutes trying to get the job done. I hate having blood taken, but I'd rather trust the robot with it any day.

    Also, it only starts the injection the instant this random number generator reaches zero...

    As a kid, my GP thought it'd be a good idea to show me that he can stick a needle through the flesh between his thumb and index finger and have it stay there when he shakes his hand about....

    I'd go for a robot any day

    Also nice product placement EPSON :)

    Last edited 30/07/13 3:00 pm

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