Artificial Intelligence has been largely impacting the healthcare industry and our lives nowadays. A robot created by a team at Rudgers University for blood sampling has been successfully tested for drawing out blood samples from patients better than humans. This robotic device was created over the past six years so as to assist doctors and healthcare professionals in the process of blood sampling.

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Need for the device

The process of drawing blood is referred to as Venipuncture, which is the most common clinical procedure in the world. It involves the insertion of a needle into a vein to get a blood sample or perform IV therapy. However, most studies have stated that clinicians fail in most cases making the task troublesome and time-consuming. Also, multiple needle insertions are the leading causes of pain and infections in patients. This robotic device can hence help locate veins accurately and save time and effort required.

How it works

The device comprises an ultrasound image-guided robot that draws blood from veins and then tests it. The system consists of 3 different parts:
1. A Venipuncture robot
2. Sample handling device
3. Blood analyzer

The venipuncture robot locates the patient’s blood vessels with the help of near-infrared (NIR) and ultrasound imaging. On the basis of the imaging, the device then reconstructs the vessels in 3D and inserts the needle into the center of a vein. The blood is then drawn from the vein and pumped to the Blood analyzer through the Sample handling device. The Blood analyzer is able to do basic blood tests.

According to the first clinical trial results, the researchers at Rudgers University have confirmed that their device is better than humans in automating the process of blood drawing and testing. A total success rate of 87% was recorded for the 31 participants whose blood was drawn. Moreover, for the 25 people whose veins were easy to access, the success rate was 97%. The team is now looking to improve the process and tests supported by their device to make the process free of human interaction in the future.

Here is a video of another blood-drawing robot named Veebot that is able to draw blood from the patient. However, it does not consist of an automated testing apparatus attached to it.

In Conclusion

How comfortable would you be to have a robot take your blood test? Devices like this prove that the AI and robotics industry has come a long way in recent years. Have a look at some of the major breakthroughs of AI in this decade.

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