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Quick Hits: Robots Draw Blood Better Than Humans

A robotic blood drawing and testing device outperformed healthcare professionals in a clinical trial.

As technology becomes more integrated in the healthcare industry, robots are taking on mundane tasks and freeing up hospital personnel to better tend to patients. One of these tasks is drawing blood. It’s proven difficult with clinicians failing 27% of the time when drawing blood from patients without visible veins. Repeated failures increase risk of complications including phlebitis, thrombosis, and infections. Difficulty accessing veins increases procedure time, requires more staff, and costs more than $4 billion a year in the United States alone.

However, according to a recent Futurity article, robots can do it better. A new device that contains an ultrasound image-guided robot successfully draws blood from people with easy-to-access veins 97% of the time. The device is also fully integrated and includes a module that handles samples and a centrifuge-based blood analyzer that could be used in ambulances, emergency rooms, clinics, and hospitals.

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