Blood-drawing robots could speed up doctor visits

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

The prototype, created by a Rutgers-led team, utilizes ultrasound imaging to help the robot find and puncture the vein. In testing with 31 patients, the bot had an overall success rate of 87 percent. With patients whose veins were easy to access, that figure jumped up to 97 percent.

According to previous studies cited by Rutgers, venipuncture is the world’s most common clinical procedure with more than 1.4 billion being performed each year in the US alone. Despite its commonality, the procedure routinely goes south as clinicians fail in 27 percent of sticks in patients without visible veins. The failure rate climbs to 40 percent in patients lacking palpable veins and 60 percent with emaciated subjects.

“Repeated failures to start an IV line boost the likelihood of phlebitis, thrombosis and infections,” Rutgers said. It also can increase the procedure time and may even tie up additional staff, wasting resources.

Josh Leipheimer, lead author of the research, said a device like theirs could help clinicians get blood samples quickly, safely and reliably, preventing unnecessary complications and pain due to multiple needle insertion attempts.

Rutgers said the next step is to refine the device to increase its success rate in patients with veins that are difficult to access.

Masthead credit: Venipuncture by dmdartworx2016

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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
Humans have to stab me about 3 times to get it right. My company forces stealing DNA on its employees or get a salary decrease. My health was damaged because of it. A hematoma the size of a golf ball. I wonder if these robots would be better in a controlled environment such as an arm?
 
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MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
Humans have to stab me about 3 times to get it right. My company forces stealing DNA on its employees or get a salary decrease. My health was damaged because of it. A hematoma the size of a golf ball. I wonder if these robots would be better in a controlled environment such as an arm?
I had one of those once! Made a super nasty bruise and it hurt like he!!. Drawing blood when I bought life insurance.

I'd trust this robot though... so long as it's had lots of practice.
 

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
"Would you let a robot draw your blood?"

Sure, why not? Can't be worse than my normal doctor's visit, where they screw up the blood draw about 50 percent of the time.
 
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Arbie

TS Booster
For a better blood draw, hydrate first. Meaning several glasses of water before you go in. This is one of those tips that is apparently so obvious to the medical staff that they never mention it to patients...
 
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PEnnn

TS Guru
For a better blood draw, hydrate first. Meaning several glasses of water before you go in. This is one of those tips that is apparently so obvious to the medical staff that they never mention it to patients...
Except when you're not supposed to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before a blood test or when one is about to undergo an operation that requires anesthesia ...and they have to find a vein for the IV and stab you multiple times trying to find one because....you're dehydrated!!

Happened to me last week...
 

Arbie

TS Booster
Except when you're not supposed to eat or drink for at least 8 hours before a blood test or when one is about to undergo an operation that requires anesthesia ...and they have to find a vein for the IV and stab you multiple times trying to find one because....you're dehydrated!!

Happened to me last week...
I don't think the eat / drink restriction usually applies to water. You might want to ask specifically next time. If not then this is another instance of the staff not communicating with the patient - then they wonder why it's so hard to get a vein.
 
Blood tests can be critical or CYA for lawsuits. Make your doctor justify it and what they hope to find/not find, and then get it drawn elsewhere at an independent commercial phlebotomy company. They generally do hundreds of draws per day and are significantly better at it than hospital vampires or doctors' offices.

This automated vampire will only result in a surge of 'required' blood tests for doctors' offices because it will always be cheaper than hiring a full time person and 'the doctor' will want to cover all bases.
 

brucek

TS Guru
I've got no interest in being a beta tester for version 1, but sure, twenty years from now when its technique and sterilization is flawless, sure I'd rather have that than the human who may or may not do it with finesse.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
I've got no interest in being a beta tester for version 1, but sure, twenty years from now when its technique and sterilization is flawless, sure I'd rather have that than the human who may or may not do it with finesse.
No worries. The beta testers were like the robotics PhD candidates at Rutgers, all desperately trying to get that letter of recommendation from their professor.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
I've given blood lots of times and my trick for not suffering afterwards is to completely relax the arm. Let it hang limp. Any time I tense up the arm, I'd have a bruise and pain afterwards. So I don't like the photo above of needing to grip a handle for the robot to draw the blood.
 

Danny101

TS Evangelist
Doctors don't spend any time with you now. They just guess your condition in accordance to some trite manual. Don't hardly do culture tests anymore. Except for Emergency Care, the American health care system is a sham along with a law system that supports their license to kill. Theories often based on pseudo-science. Don't buy into the hype. They don't deserve the high pay that they get. Insurance isn't the problem. It's the bloated medical system with arrogant know-nothings. They don't cure anything. They just suppress your symptoms until they eat you alive. Seek wellness elsewhere.
 
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