Uh, ya. You read that right. A machine that will draw blood instead of a phlebotomist. Now I understand the pitfalls of human error, but technological error can be even more vast. I can only imagine those who have a fear of needles already are even more freaked out by a machine doing the poking. Check out the video in the Geekologie article here. Or check out the video below.
So 83% of the time the machine will find the right vein. I definitely hope they can up that percentage to more than 90%, as that is what the tech company hopes to achieve before going to clinical trials. The last time I went to get my blood drawn, I had the most horrible experience ever. Supposedly my veins collapsed twice, and it freakin hurt like a mofo once the lady actually pinpointed a viable vein. It didn’t make any sense to me how the phlebotomist couldn’t draw blood from me easily. I could seriously look down on my arm and see prominent veins with ease. All I remember thinking in my head during that dark, horrible time is that the girl drawing my blood was a newbie, and the last thing I wanted to do is freak her out or piss her off so that she could hurt me even more. Haha.
This machine does look pretty cool though. Side note: Doesn’t Epson also make printers? Anyhoo, the use of ultrasound technology is awesome, but the machine still needs to be operated by a human. Sooooo … I’m not so sure I see the cost-benefit being worth it. Even if some humans suck at drawing blood, I don’t know if I want to risk a robot messing up my arm. My imagination goes to the worst case scenario where the machine goes haywire and the human operating the machine can’t control what the machine does anymore. Is this a Final Destination scene unraveling? Haha. But really. What if the machine pokes too deep (har har har). Just doesn’t seem practical to me. I’m not a believer just yet in robot phlebotomists. I guess in a couple years, after the clinical trials, maybe there will be more hope. But for now, all we have are worst case scenarios. =P