Venipuncture Technology Is Changing

Newest Venipuncture Technology out Today

There have been so many new advances in the medical technology space in the past ten years with venipuncture in the mix. Not only are there several new companies that have been introduced in the past few years but the number of existing companies jumping into the mix is increasing as well. The biggest hurdle facing a good blood draw has been the location of adequate veins. Several new pieces of equipment are making the are of phlebotomy and the job of phlebotomists easier at the same time.

One company by the name of Accuvein has a vein finder. The machine is driven by a reader that detects the levels of hemoglobin. It can distinguish between the larger concentration of hemoglobin in veins vs that of normal tissue. There is a light projected on the patient with the dark areas indicating a vein or concentration of hemoglobin. This allows for a look at the patients internal structure rather than poking around for a vein. The idea is to prevent unneeded needle sticks and make it safer for both patients and phlebotomists. At only 10oz the machine can easily be carried around by phlebotomists and medical professionals alike.

Another company founded in North California has developed a prototype machine

A potential venipuncture / phlebotomy machine
This is the Veebot machine rendering of what it might look like.

that can detect the vein and perform a blood draw. The process of drawing blood can eliminate the hands on contact from a phlebotomist or other medical professional. The product is produced by Veebot and was started in 2010 by some Stanford engineers. It is unclear how the machine would integrate into the hospital or clinic setting. Many locations currently have there own EKG and laboratory space which might allow for these machines to be setup in mass. A phlebotomist may be charged with the patient direction and orienting patients effectively for the machine to work. It could potentially allow for hospitals to get patients in and out even quicker. The greater opportunity is to prevent unnecessary needle sticks and to increase the safety around the blood drawing process.

Phlebotomists are still in great demand and have access to greater technology than ever before. It is unclear how all of the new technology will impact the way patients are cared for in terms of blood draws. The underlying opportunity is to create a safer environment that fosters good patient outcomes for all. It may also have an impact on phlebotomy training and the skills needed to operated new equipment. Technology should continue to work side by side with medical professionals like phlebotomists, CNAs and medical assistants.

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