New blood collection robot shows remarkable performance in the test

In the future, robots could take blood samples, which could benefit both patients and healthcare workers. A team at Rutgers University in New Jersey has developed a blood collection robot that works as well or better than humans. The automated blood collection and testing device performed excellently on the first human clinical trial.

Prototype of a new blood collection robot

The device delivers quick results and would allow healthcare professionals to spend more time treating patients in hospitals and other settings.

The results, published in the Technology magazine, were comparable to, or even exceeded, clinical standards, with an overall success rate of 87% for the 31 participants whose blood was drawn. The success rate of the 25 people whose veins were easily accessible was 97%.

The device contains an ultrasound-guided robot that draws blood from the veins. A fully integrated device that includes a sample handling module and a centrifuge-based blood analyzer can be used at the bedside, as well as in ambulances, emergency rooms, clinics, medical practices, and hospitals.

Prototype of an automatic blood collection and testing device

Venipuncture, which involves inserting a needle into a vein to take a blood sample or perform intravenous therapy, is the world's most common clinical procedure, but more than 1.4 billion daily failures in the United States, according to previous studies the doctors in 27% of the patients without visible veins, 40% of the patients without palpable veins and 60% of the emaciated patients.

Repeated failures to perform venipuncture increase the likelihood of phlebitis, thrombosis, and infection. It may also require targeting large veins in the body or arteries at far higher costs and risks. As a result, venipuncture is a major cause of injury to patients and doctors. In addition, difficult access to veins can add up to an hour to treatment time, require more staff, and is estimated to cost more than $ 4 billion a year in the United States.

“A device like ours could help clinicians take blood samples quickly, safely, and reliably, preventing multiple patient puncture complications and pain,” said lead author Josh Leipheimer, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering at the Yarmush Laboratory for Biomedical Engineering Department at the School of Engineering at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

In the future, the device could be used for procedures such as intravenous catheterization, dialysis and placement of arterial lines. The next steps involve refining the device to improve success rates in patients with difficult-to-access veins. The data from this study will be used to improve artificial intelligence in the robot to improve its performance.

Reference: “First-in-human evaluation of a hand-held automated venipuncture device for rapid venous blood draws” / Technology Journal / Josh M. Leipheimer, Max L. Balter, Alvin I. Chen, Enrique J. Pantin, Alexander E. Davidovich, Kristen S. Labazzo and Martin L. Yarmush

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