We’ve all had our fair share of procedures that required needles being inserted into various veins, whether we are talking about blood draws for certain laboratory tests, donating blood or having intravenous treatment injected. The unpleasant side of these situations (besides having a potential phobia regarding needles as well) consists in the fact that sometimes, however skilled the nurse or doctor performing the procedure is, the vein can be difficult to find and thus, a series of less than comfortable pocking and searching is required. Fortunately for everyone, patients and doctors alike, technology has once again come to save the day.

“The VeinViewer works by projecting near-infrared light on the portion of the body on which the vascular access procedure will be done. This light is absorbed by some of the blood’s cells (hemoglobin) and reflected by surrounding tissue. The information obtained is then captured and processed by the device, which afterwards digitally projects a real-time map of the “scanned” veins onto the surface of the skin.”

 

Christie Medical Holdings, a Memphis-based company focused on the development and commercialization of medical technologies, has found a solution for the vein-finding problem and it is called VeinViewer Flex. The device is a vein illuminator equipped with HD imaging and Df2 (digital full field) technology. The VeinViewer works by projecting near-infrared light on the portion of the body on which the vascular access procedure will be done. This light is absorbed by some of the blood’s cells (hemoglobin) and reflected by surrounding tissue. The information obtained is then captured and processed by the device, which afterwards digitally projects a real-time map of the “scanned” veins onto the surface of the skin. The device’s patented technology, AVIN (Active Vascular Imaging Navigation), offers visibility of the blood patterns up to 15 mm deep, being also able to show the location of peripheral veins, bifurcations and valves. Medical specialists are also able to assess the veins’ refill/flushing cycle in real time, or in other words, doctors can observe how and in what time veins to which blood circulation has been cut off are drained and, in reverse, the refill process of certain veins after different medical procedures,  in order to see if they are still viable.

“Image Capture, allows the storage of up to 200 static images of the patient’s “vein map”. The images can be then transferred to a computer for documentation purposes and for demonstrating aesthetic outcomes to patients, when it applies.”

 

The VeinViewer Flex has been designed to support software upgrades in order to suit different medical requirements. For instance, the Fine Detail upgrade makes finer vein structures more visible, proving its utility in pediatrics and sclerotherapy (medical procedure used in eliminating varicose and spider veins), while the Inverse upgrade allows the user to change colors in the image window as to customize the projected image based on skin tone, density of hair follicles and room lighting. Another feature, Image Capture, allows the storage of up to 200 static images of the patient’s “vein map”. The images can be then transferred to a computer for documentation purposes and for demonstrating aesthetic outcomes to patients, when it applies.

In terms of mobility, the design team has thought everything through. The device is portable and can be attached or placed on existing structures such as consultation tables, counter tops, IV (intravenous) poles or bed rails. Power sources consist in rechargeable batteries, so there is no need to be alarmed if the power goes out or a socket happens to have faulty wiring.

According to the company’s representatives, the device is unique and has fulfilled the mission it was set out to accomplish: “Only VeinViewer can provide pre, during and post-access benefits throughout the entire vascular access procedure. It is also the only device of its kind that has been shown through clinical studies to increase both first-stick success and patient satisfaction by up to 100 per cent while reducing medically unnecessary [catheter] lines by over 30 percent.” (Christie Medical Holdings President, George Pinho)

 

R.F.I.

Sources: https://www.christiemed.com/products/veinviewer-models/veinviewer-flex; http://www.techinsider.io/vein-viewer-makes-veins-glow-2015-12; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3013079/Hate-needles-LIGHT-make-giving-blood-easier-Device-helps-nurses-peer-skin-pinpoint-veins.html