Sticking an infusion needle into the tiny veins of babies and children is one of
the most common hospital procedure in youngsters – and also one of the most
scary and painful one for such patients.
Students and doctors
participating in the Biodesign program – a joint venture between the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem – have
developed a prototype for a robotic intravenous insertion device that will
lessen pain and discomfort.
The handheld, semi-automatic device has the
aim of reducing human error for inserting the IV catheter into the
Called Sagiv, the device uses infrared sights and electrical
sensing to find veins, insert the needle into the correct location, and withdraw
it in a single, rapid robotic movement.
“Some caregivers simply don’t
have the dexterity to insert IV catheters successfully,” said Dr.
Almagor, the group’s clinical expert. “This leads to a lot of pain and
The group’s prototype, developed by engineering graduate
student Lev Lavy, has already been tested successfully on children at the
pediatric ward of Hadassah University Medical Center.
“We had a lot of
excited parents asking that we use the device,” said Almagor. “Children who used
to be pricked numerous times during every visit can now be connected in a single
Other students in the group include Gahl Levy, founder of
EnergySmart solutions – which designs and installs renewable energy technology –
Yifat Castel and Alex Wainshtok, who are completing their master of business
Biodesign is a multi-disciplinary, team-based
approach to medical innovation, created by the Hebrew University and Hadassah
Medical Center in partnership with Stanford University and directed by Dr.
Yaakov Nahmias, head of the Hebrew University’s bioengineering program, and
Prof. Chaim Lotan, director of the Hadassah’s heart institute.
program tutors outstanding medical fellows, bioengineering and business graduate
students in the science and practice of bringing a medical innovation to the