This Phlebotomist Robot Thirsts For Your Blood (Video And GIFs)

Veebot is a start-up in California. They’ve built a robot that can insert IVs and partially automate blood draws. THANKS, WE NEEDED THAT.

The patient slides his or her arm into an inflatable cuff, which acts as a tourniquet. An infrared light illuminates the inner elbow for a camera that searches for a suitable vein using software that compares the camera’s view against a model of an arm’s veins. Next, ultrasound confirms that the chosen vein has sufficient blood flow for a successful blood draw. Finally, the robotic arm aligns itself with the chosen vein and inserts the needle. The whole process takes about a minute. [Medgadget]

The phlebotomist robot finds the best vein 83% of the time, which is about the same frequency with which human phlebotamists find the best vein. On the other hand, human phlebotamists probably won’t jab the everloving sh-t out of your elbow if they malfunction (we would hope).

Richard Harris of Veebot says they want to raise the best-vein accuracy to 90% before starting clinical trials. He says a billion blood draws are performed in the U.S. each year (Half of those were performed on me last time I was in the hospital). He also says 250 million IVs are inserted each year in America. If improved, a machine like this could reduce errors and speed up the process. Or it could go all Judgement Day and END US ALL. Decisions decisions.

Here’s a video of this nightmare beast at work, narrated by someone who seems to assume we’re all kindergarteners.

In summation, NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.