Vitestro and Result laboratory are developing a device that will automate venous blood sampling. Automation of blood collection offers a great opportunity for improving patient care and reducing costs. A major challenge in development of the venipuncture device is prevention of unintended nerve and arterial puncture, which can be problematic because of anatomical variations. In this project, automated real-time 3D ultrasound detection of nerves and arteries will be developed using robotic positioning and deep learning. It is thus a sub-project with a limited scope, within the larger project of building a venipuncture device. The development will assist in avoiding nerves and arteries during automated venipuncture, thereby preventing arterial or nerve complications in clinical practice.
Integration of automated real-time 3D detection of arteries and nerves in the blood sampling device will seriously improve in the safety of the device. Adoption and acceptance of this device will therefore be stimulated, finally transforming the current costly and error-prone venipuncture process. Implementation reduces costs and improves patient care. Broad introduction of venipuncture devices will within a decade enable a future of data-driven, preventive medicine, potentially saving thousands of lives.
More importantly, development of automated real-time 3D detection of nerves and arteries offers myriad of unique applications within the field of medicine. It can lead the way for other robotic devices automating medical procedures, such as regional anaesthesia, intravenous cannulation, or arterial cannulation. This will reduce healthcare expenditure and patient complications, strongly benefiting European society and economy.