Feeling the needle’s “stick” is never a pleasant feeling, never mind being stuck multiple times (just writing about the sensation is a slightly squeamish experience). But an ingenious device—the VeinViewer—offers medical professionals a harmless way to view a patient’s veins in real-time, to a precise level of detail that aids in not only finding veins, but determining the best possible location for placing a needle.

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The VeinViewer works by projecting a harmless near-infrared light onto the skin, which is absorbed by the blood, and reflected onto surrounding tissue. This information is captured and processed through a computer that then projects a real-time LED image of the veins onto the skin. The VeinViewer can “see” veins up to 10mm below the skin, and can define individual lines to an impressive level of detail—0.22mm.

Related: Researchers have successfully created artificial blood

All in all it’s a pretty clever idea, and one which involves no additional invasive procedures. Which could—and according to tests by manufacturer Christie, does—make for a significantly less stressful experience for patients and clinicians alike; it could even vastly improve the process of donating blood.


Via Mental Floss