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Robotic Assistive Device for Phlebotomy

[+] Author Affiliations
Paulo Carvalho, Anurag Kesari, Sean Weaver, Patrick Flaherty, Gregory S. Fischer

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

Paper No. DETC2015-47620, pp. V003T14A012; 6 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 17th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 12th International Conference on Design Education; 8th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5710-6
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Phlebotomy is a routine task, performed over a billion times annually in the United States alone, that is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. We designed and constructed Phlebot, a robotic assistive device that uses a novel combination of near-infrared (NIR) monocular imaging and force-feedback to guide a needle into a forearm vein for blood sample collection or intravenous catheterization. Through initial validation on phantoms, we show that our approach offers a feasible and reliable method to automate phlebotomy. We envision the device to be a first major step towards more affordable point-of-care testing and diagnostic healthcare systems. In the long term, we expect that Phlebot will expedite healthcare delivery and drastically reduce needle stick injuries, instances of hemolysis, and infections caused by blood-borne pathogens.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Robotics



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