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Google files patent for a device that can draw blood without using needles

By midian182 · 10 replies
Dec 7, 2015
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  1. Anyone who suffers from a condition that requires they take frequent blood tests – particularly diabetes, where individuals need to check their glucose levels several times a day – will know it can be an unpleasant, time-consuming and occasionally painful experience. But now, Google might be working on a way to make the whole process a lot easier, as the company has filed a patent for a needle-free blood drawing device that can be used either as a wearable on a person’s wrist or as a hand-held device.

    The patent, which was published today and is still pending, suggests that the device works by firing a microparticle into the skin using a high powered gas barrel. Thanks to the negative pressure, the device is able to collect a small amount of blood from the skin at the point where the microparticle entered – meaning no needles are used in the entire process.

    The amount of blood drawn by the device is small, so it wouldn’t be useful in tests that require a large quantity of blood for testing. "Such an application might be used to draw a small amount of blood, for example, for a glucose test," the patent says.

    As is the case with most patents, there’s no guarantee that the needle-free blood drawing device will ever become a reality. “we hold patents on a variety of ideas — some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don't. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents," a Google spokesperson told The Verge.

    This isn’t the first device Google has been working on that is aimed at the 9 percent of adults aged 18+ who have diabetes; Google Life Sciences - once a division of Google X until the Alphabet restructuring - is working on contact lenses that can measure a patient’s blood sugar levels by analyzing their tears. The Alphabet subsidiary is also making a bandage-sized, cloud-connected sensor to help people monitor their glucose levels.

    Permalink to story.

  2. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,737   +643

    Being someone who tests my blood glucose up to 8-times a day, I would never use one of these. 33g lancets are almost pain free.

    I've also used jet injectors for insulin over the years, and they are becoming increasingly hard to find. My best guess for the fact that they are becoming increasingly hard to find is that they are more painful than the latest needles and insulin pens. I switched recently to an insulin pen, and I like the pen and needle far better than any jet injector I have ever used. My point being that the device in the article uses a "gas blast" to fire a microparticle through the skin - to me, this sounds very much similar to a jet injector, and I would not be surprised if this is more painful than using a 33g lancet to do the same thing.

    So, google, good luck with this. I appreciate the efforts, but I think you are off-mark on this.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    If you're scared of needles you can always try leeches, they're absolutely painless... I know, I was once in the military and had my fair share of run ins with them.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,193   +1,868

    Being Type II diabetic for 7 years now, I have had my own trials with the various items to collect and evaluate the blood. I'm not familiar with the gas injection method unless it operates on the same principle as the multi-injectors that the military had in the mid to late 70s. They were very quick and effective, but certainly not painless. Frankly, anything that makes the testing and recording of readings faster, easier, and helps avoid forgetfulness would be a God send!
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,410   +3,424

    "there’s no guarantee that the needle-free blood drawing device will ever become a reality"
    In which case the patent should be rejected, until someone does come forward with the idea to make it a reality. And at that time the one that does make it a reality would become the patent holder.
  6. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,821   +628

    But then how would patent trolls make their money on patents they never intended to use for themselves in the first place, or wait until a company comes up with something similar and then sue for millions. These people clearly need to make a living off the hard work of others, it would be unconstitutional to otherwise deny these corporations to do so.
  7. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,633   +1,023

    As much as this is a neat idea, I think I might have a better one. Quit messing with our food, meaning like GMO and such. I'd bet the number of people with diabetes and other issues would drop.
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,737   +643

    Try these:
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,737   +643

    I definitely agree we don't need no GMOs, but numerous studies have indicated that diabetes is more connected to added sugar. Before 1900, sugar used to be a luxury food. It would be interesting to know if the number of cases of obesity and diabetes have gone up since sugar has become widely available.

    Also, in type II diabetes, there is at least one study out there that links % body/liver fat to insulin resistance, and people that went to extreme lengths to reduce it got rid of their diabetes.
  10. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,633   +1,023

    I definitely agree that the increase availability is probably the biggest factor with diabetes, but since the human body is so complex and that we still haven't mastered it, who knows what other factors could be contributing.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  11. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,737   +643

    Absolutely agree! I follow many medical subjects, and it seems that every year, doctors change their recommendations after finding out that results from last year on the same subject are different.
    stewi0001 likes this.

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