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Autonomous Blood Drawing Device Combines AI, Ultrasound Imaging and Robotics

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 02 Jun 2022
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Image: World’s most advanced autonomous blood drawing device (Photo courtesy of Vitestro)
Image: World’s most advanced autonomous blood drawing device (Photo courtesy of Vitestro)

Within healthcare, the clinical laboratory is the driving force. Accuracy and timeliness of laboratory tests are critically important, as they shape approximately 70% of all medical decisions made by physicians. It is unsurprising that blood collection (phlebotomy) is the most common invasive medical procedure, performed billions of times per year globally. Blood collection holds a pivotal role in clinical diagnostics yet is also burdened by the scarcity of skilled workers. Now, an autonomous blood drawing device, combining artificial intelligence, ultrasound imaging and robotics, automates this labor-intensive procedure to transform the quality of care and create a sustainable healthcare system.

Vitestro (Utrecht, the Netherlands) has unveiled the world’s most advanced autonomous blood drawing device that combines AI-based, ultrasound-guided 3D reconstruction with robotic needle insertion, ensuring accurate and secure blood collection. Vitestro’s proprietary laboratory automation technology standardizes handling of the blood sample while the blood is collected. The device allows almost complete automation of the pre-analytical phase. This has the potential to reduce high blood test error rates, mainly caused by manual variability. In clinical studies, Vitestro already performed 1,500 automated blood draws in more than 1,000 patients with its prototype. The venipuncture technology is adaptable to patients of 16 years of age onwards, comorbidities, and puncture difficulty.

From 2023, Vitestro will initiate pivotal clinical studies for regulatory approval in Europe. EU-market introduction is anticipated in 2024. Vitestro will initially implement the device in outpatient phlebotomy departments. Patients will have the option to choose between either Vitestro’s venipunture device or the standard method. The device is intuitive to use, empowering patients to be self-reliant in the full blood collection procedure. In previous clinical trials, patients of all ages have demonstrated a high degree of openness, enthusiasm and willingness to adopt the innovation. A trained healthcare professional is able to supervise several devices, managing multiple patients simultaneously. The increased efficiency enables hospitals and clinical laboratories to address workforce shortage or even free up staff and deploy them where they are really needed.

“The mounting shortage of healthcare personnel is imminent,” said Toon Overbeeke, Vitestro’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “The pandemic has further led to loss of workforce, causing a bleak outlook for hospital output around the globe, and leading to reduced access and continuity of care. That's why revolutionary automation like our blood drawing device is inevitable to solve the industry's biggest problem.”

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