DARPA has a heart for needle phobics

For a lot of people, especially small children, the worst part about blood tests is the part where someone uses a sharp needle to penetrate your skin, rupture your vein and suck out your blood. And those who do not have “good” veins, look forward to having their arms or the back of their hands riddled with holes until the doctor, or nurse, finds their evasive arteries.

The Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seems interested in a solution for this problem and has granted Tasso Inc. $3 million funds to work on their prototype, the Hemolink.

Two millennia after the first syringe was invented, Tasso Inc. has come up with a solution that might make life a little more pleasant for a lot of people. Hemolink is the new gadget that will be able to collect enough blood for most diagnostic applications, without having to actually penetrate an artery.

The product description sounds like the advertisement for an app:  

  • User Experience: At Tasso, the user comes first. Everything from the moment you apply the device to your skin to the moment you receive your test results is focused on our mission: personalizing healthcare.

  • Simplicity: Leveraging proprietary microfluidic technology within our device, we have designed an elegant system that collects blood at the push of a button.

  • Linking to Labs: Tasso’s innovative technology seamlessly integrates into the existing workflow of trusted laboratory equipment and processes.

  • Affordability: Things should be made as simple as possible and no simpler. Minimal parts, minimal waste, minimal cost.

The vision is to make collecting and analysing blood easier and more practicable

The analysis and diagnostic still has to be done in a laboratory, but I am sure someone will soon make an app to do the job. Until then we have to live with the old syringes and their needles.