Veebot Has Made a Robot That Can Draw Blood

VeebotYou probably know the routine for drawing blood. A medical technician briefly wraps your arm in a tourniquet and looks your veins over, sometimes tapping gently with a gloved finger on your inner elbow. Then the med tech selects a target. Usually, but not always, she gets a decent vein on the first try; sometimes it takes a second (or third) stick. This procedure is fine for the typical blood test at a doctor’s office, but for contract researchers it represents a significant logistics problem. In drug trials it’s not unusual to have to draw blood from dozens of people every hour or so throughout a day. These tests can add up to more than a hundred thousand blood draws a year for just one contract research company. Veebot, a start-up in Mountain View, Calif., is hoping to automate drawing blood and inserting IVs by combining robotics with image-analysis software. Read the full story at IEEE Spectrum.