Hate needles? New technology makes it easier for doctors to find veins

It only takes a few minutes and involves the tiniest of scratches, but many of us dread getting blood tests. For people with veins that are hard to locate, it’s an especially stressful experience and can involve multiple anxiety-inducing attempts with a needle.

Enter veinviewer, a marvel of technology developed by Memphis-based Christie Medical Holdings that helps medical staff aim their needles much more precisely.

The device can see as deep as 15mm into the patient’s skin, and produces an image of what’s below by shining a near-infrared light.

The website states, “ VeinViewer® is the only vein finder that can help you improve the total patient experience by reducing the number of sticks, potentially improving intravenous catheter dwell times and avoiding associated complications.”

The system not only allows doctors to find the best vein for each particular procedure, it also reduces further complications by determining the location of valves and bifurcations that need to be avoided.

Will this make you less stressed about getting a needle?


Meet Huggable, the interactive robot providing comfort and fun to paediatric cancer patients

Who knew robots could offer such comfort! The Huggable is a robotic companion created to assist children with cancer and their families mitigate stress, pain and the anxiety associated with treatment.

Currently being trialled at the Boston Children’s Hospital, the plush robot has become an integral part of the children’s team. As part of a project to assess whether patients emotionally connect with interactive robots, plush teddy bears or virtual characters on screens, the former is coming out on top.

The developers Personal Robotics Group, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology used Android smartphone technology to create the robot so that its movements could be controlled in a small space.

Research specialist Sooyeong Jeong said, “That’s how the robot became smaller and more mobile so we can actually put it right by the bedside.”

Several research studies have demonstrated that children undergoing treatment tend to minimize their emotional distress and are at risk of suffering from anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Huggable is a ray of hope, heralding a new era for the emotional wellbeing of the youngest patients with the most serious conditions.