Robot does superior job sampling blood

In the future, robots could take blood samples, benefiting patients and healthcare workers alike. A Rutgers-led team has created a blood-sampling robot that performed as well or better than people, according to the first human clinical trial of an automated blood drawing and testing device.

Photo
A prototype of an automated blood drawing and testing device.
Source: Unnati Chauhan

The device provides quick results and would allow healthcare professionals to spend more time treating patients in hospitals and other settings. The results were comparable to or exceeded clinical standards, with an overall success rate of 87% for the 31 participants whose blood was drawn. For the 25 people whose veins were easy to access, the success rate was 97%.

The device includes an ultrasound image-guided robot that draws blood from veins. A fully integrated device, which includes a module that handles samples and a centrifuge-based blood analyzer, could be used at bedsides and in ambulances, emergency rooms, clinics, doctors’ offices and hospitals.

Venipuncture, which involves inserting a needle into a vein to get a blood sample or perform IV therapy, is the world’s most common clinical procedure, with more than 1.4 billion performed yearly in the United States. But clinicians fail in 27% of patients without visible veins, 40% of patients without palpable veins and 60% of emaciated patients, according to previous studies.

Repeated failures to start an IV line boost the likelihood of phlebitis, thrombosis and infections, and may require targeting large veins in the body or arteries – at much greater cost and risk. As a result, venipuncture is among the leading causes of injury to patients and clinicians. Moreover, a hard time accessing veins can increase procedure time by up to an hour, requires more staff and costs more than $4 billion a year in the United States, according to estimates. “A device like ours could help clinicians get blood samples quickly, safely and reliably, preventing unnecessary complications and pain in patients from multiple needle insertion attempts,” said lead author Josh Leipheimer, a biomedical engineering doctoral student in the Yarmush lab in the biomedical engineering department in the School of Engineering at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

In the future, the device could be used in such procedures as IV catheterization, central venous access, dialysis and placing arterial lines. Next steps include refining the device to improve success rates in patients with difficult veins to access. Data from this study will be used to enhance artificial intelligence in the robot to improve its performance.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related articles

An automated robotic device for faster blood testing

An automated robotic device for faster blood testing

Researchers have created an automated blood drawing and testing device that provides rapid results,could speed hospital work, enhance healthcare.

Robotic device assists those with spinal cord injury

Robotic device assists those with spinal cord injury

Engineers have developed a robotic device that can be used to assist and train people with SCIs to sit more stably by improving their trunk control.

3D printing helps form wearable sensor

3D printing helps form wearable sensor

Researchers have developed a highly sensitive wearable pressure sensor for health monitoring applications and early diagnosis of diseases.

Retinal screening in diabetes: diagnosis by robot

Retinal screening in diabetes: diagnosis by robot

Physicians have been using automatic digital retinal screening, without assistance from an ophthalmologist, to detect diabetic retinal disease.

Robot navigates ultrasound pill through colon

Robot navigates ultrasound pill through colon

Engineers have shown it is technically possible to guide a tiny robotic capsule inside the colon to take micro-ultrasound images.

Sensor detects brain disorders in seconds

Sensor detects brain disorders in seconds

This is the first rapid detector for dopamine and has the potential to help doctors diagnose Parkinson’s, depression and some forms of cancer.

Lab-on-a-chip detects cancer less invasively

Lab-on-a-chip detects cancer less invasively

A new ultrasensitive diagnostic device could allow doctors to detect cancer quickly from a droplet of blood or plasma, leading to timelier interventions and better outcomes for patients.

A robotic visualization system for neurosurgery

A robotic visualization system for neurosurgery

Study evaluated robotic operative microscope for neurosurgery and found that the KINEVO 900 provides various improvements over the previous microscope.

Tiny robots could be used to detect medical problems

Tiny robots could be used to detect medical problems

Made of electronic circuits coupled to minute particles, cell-sized robots could flow through intestines or pipelines to detect problems.

Popular articles