Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Robot can draw blood better than doctors

Having blood taken is never the most pleasant experience, but we have seen innovations to make it eaiser for those who need to take medication intravenously to keep track of their schedule, such as the Timesulin. Now Veebot aims to automate the process of drawing blood, making it more accurate and less stressful for patients. Created by a team of Stanford engineers, the startup has developed a system that includes an imaging device which can detect the position on veins in the patient’s arm. After using ultrasound and infrared to select the best site for venepuncture, the robotic machine manipulates a standard butterfly catheter used to draw blood. The system also automatically removes the needle from the vial, caps it and labels it – making the healthcare professional’s job even easier. Veebot are currently keeping back the details of their patent-pending technology, and it’s unknown when the team intend to bring the device to market. According to the company, 20 to 25 percent of all venepunctures fail to stick on the first try, resulting in two million injuries every year. By automating the process, patients can avoid potential injury and discomfort, while doctors can get on with other tasks – ultimately saving hospitals money. Are there other minor – or even major – medical tasks that could be carried out by precise engineering?

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