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The future phlebotomist?

Meet your new blood-drawing, needle-wielding robot phlebotomist

Drawing blood should be a routine procedure. Unfortunately complications can be common either in the elderly, who may have a compromised vasculature, or in children who are literally scared out of their minds. A startup based in Mountain View, California aims to replace your friendly phlebotomist with a robot. If this new device can gain patient confidence and perform well under ideal conditions, perhaps it can also be of service in more demanding conditions as well.

The robot phlebotomist, known as the Veebot, looks like it is a specially modified version of one of Epson’s standard manipulator arms. Epson manufactures some of the fastest, and fortunately, most accurate multi-axis arms in the business. The head used on the Veebot appears to be custom adapted to provide the additional elements needed to finesse the ideal stick. Human technicians undoubtedly have more flexibility in adjusting the angle and force applied when trying to penetrate the near side of vein without going clean through it. What the robot has going for it, though, is better tools for identifying the optimal place to jab you in the first place.

Read more here.

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