Will the VeinViewer Make the Blind Stick a Historical Footnote?

February 13, 2007

Yes our housestaff is no longer the first line when blood or an iv is needed. However, maybe these tasks wouldn’t be such a big deal if this invention from the company Luminetx takes off. It uses light emitting diodes to beam near infrared light onto the skin, and can visualize blood vessels up to 8 mm below the surface. The light source emits a harmless, near-infrared light reflected back to the surface from the tissue surrounding the vein, while no light is reflected back from the blood inside the vessel. A digital video camera then captures the near-infrared light reflected back, a microprocessor adds contrast and projects an image back on the skin in the same location. Arteries are pulsatile so they are easy to distinguish from veins. Skin color, age, body habitus by report all have no impact on the device. Also works great for central venous lines. The only item needed to purchase is the VeinViewer machine below for ~$25,000. Not too steep a price if you consider the decrease in need for manpower, prevention of needlesticks, and patient satisfaction…

Links: Luminetx Hompage