If the very thought of a needle makes you cringe, we have some good news for you.
A new invention can draw blood without using a needle.
The HemoLink blood sampler by Taso Inc. is about the size of a ping-pong ball and draws blood via a mild vacuum placed against the skin of an arm or abdomen. The whole ordeal takes two minutes, and it’s able to draw enough blood for certain routine tests for things like cholesterol, infections, cancer cells, and blood sugar.
The blood is drawn from tiny open channels into a small tube inside the vacuum in a process called capillary action.
According to the company, the target market is people who need to take blood samples regularly, but not constantly. Patients can take their own blood sample before they mail them off to the lab for analysis.
The benefit of the new product is two-fold: it will make having blood taken a hell of lot better for those who are terrified of needles, and it would ease the strain on the healthcare system by requiring less visits to the doctor.
The device was just granted $3 million US in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The money from DARPA will go toward advancing the preservation of the blood, with the hope that it will get to the point where it will be able to survive for one week at 60 degrees Celsius.
Tasso Inc. plans on applying to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval at the end of this year, with hopes that the device will hit the market next year.
No word on when it would come to Canada if it passes, but for anyone who’s afraid of needles the answer is, probably not soon enough…