Researchers have developed a way for smartphones to locate veins in people’s arms
Researchers at Nottingham Trent University say their design is a low cost way to help clinicians with difficult injections into veins.
Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh, professor of intelligent engineering systems, who led the project, said: “Intravenous injections are one of the most routine, invasive medical procedures in the world, but it can be difficult to find and puncture suitable veins.”
The device, which is patent pending, used a 3D printed prototype fitted to the patient’s arm with a strap that also acts as a tourniquet.
A simple modification to the smartphone camera is required by fitting the lens with a near infrared filter and adjusting the flash to the correct frequency.
The modified smartphone is then inserted into the holder, allowing the clinician to see the veins without having to hold the phone steady.
Alternatively, off-the-shelf low-cost infrared cameras can be plugged into the smartphone and a cold press can be applied to reduce the temperature of the patient’s arm to make the veins more visible.
Marie Boes, the research assistant who developed a 3D printed prototype of the device, said: “The use of 3D computer aided systems combined with 3D modern printing technologies allowed the idea to be developed into a prototype in a very rapid way in less than a week.
“As smartphones become more widely available, we can utilise their potential in previously unimagined ways to improve the experience of patients and save doctors, nurses and others valuable time and money.”