Robot Phlebotomist Draws Blood Faster and Safer than a Human
Veebot uses image-analysis software and vein anatomy to draw blood.
By Jennifer Hicks, Forbes - Filed Jul 31, 2013

According to the group of former Stanford engineers turned entrepreneurs who founded Veebot, up to 25% of all venipuncture procedures don’t draw blood on the first stick. In case you’re wondering, venipuncture is what a phlebotomist does – draws blood, normally from your arm with a needle and that chubby rubber band.

The company has based their invention  - the Veebot system – on the fact that there are two million needle stick injuries are reported every year. Meanwhile, 40-75% of needle stick injuries go unreported. Not sure that’s an epidemic, but the fact remains that medical robots are becoming more and more part of the medical community.

Veebot claims that its phlebotomist robot can draw blood faster and safer than a human can, but you really have to hold still. And, just like the self-check out systems at a grocery store, a human is nearby –  in this case a technician to attach the right tube, IV bag or position the arm.

The Veebot system combines robotics with image-analysis software which matches the camera’s view with a model of vein anatomy and then selects the right vein in your arm. But the four year old company, which wont disclose it’s funding, says the Veebot system hits the right vein 83% of the time, the same accuracy rate as a human does according to a report in IEEE Robotics.

How does it work? Watch this short video and decide if you want your anonymous phlebotomist in the white lab coat making small talk while they find your vein or don’t mind the future in your arm.

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