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Fully Automated Venipuncture Device Improves Pediatric Experience

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Jan 2014
Image: The VenousPro portable automated venipuncture medical device identifying a suitable vein for phlebotomy (Photo courtesy of VascuLogic, LLC).
Image: The VenousPro portable automated venipuncture medical device identifying a suitable vein for phlebotomy (Photo courtesy of VascuLogic, LLC).
A novel medical device has been developed that will provide phlebotomists and clinicians with a technology to enable blood drawing accuracy at the first try.

This is particularly important considering the diverse patient demographic each with various levels of difficult venous access and this enhanced accuracy will greatly reduce procedure time and cost as well as patient discomfort.

A team of scientists from VascuLogic, LLC (Piscataway, NJ, USA) have developed the world's first automated venipuncture medical device that automates the phlebotomy procedure, either for blood draws or the placement of intravenous lines. The device combines a near-infrared imaging system, computer vision software, and a robotically driven needle within a portable shell. The device, called the VenousPro, operates by imaging and mapping in real-time the three dimensional (3D) spatial coordinates of subcutaneous veins in order to direct the needle into a designated vein. The team demonstrated proof of concept by assessing imaging performance in humans and cannulation accuracy on an advanced phlebotomy-training model.

In both in vitro and in vivo validation studies, including validation on human subjects, the device demonstrated greater than 95% first stick accuracy, and additionally outperformed human phlebotomist controls. The scientists conducted an intensive survey of over 200 USA based phlebotomists, identified difficult venous access as a significant problem in small children, particularly in terms of pain, time, and patient and parent anxiety due to difficult and/or multiple needle stick(s). Additionally they have validated that parent acceptance of the device is over 98%, given demonstrated efficacy and safety of the device.

The device relies on detailed and high quality images of the vein and its surrounding area to ensure the accuracy of the venipuncture. By improving the imaging technology with ultrasound and 3D reconstruction of the vein, the device is able to detect and perform the procedure in one stick. This negates the situation of having to make multiple attempts for a successful venipuncture.

Tim Maguire, PhD, Vasculogic's CEO, said, “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. 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 study was published on November 8, 2013, in the journal TECHNOLOGY.

Related Links:

VascuLogic, LLC



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