Robotic IV insertion device decreases discomfort in children, babies

Students and doctors at HU and Hadassah Medical Center develop prototype for the robotic intravenous insertion device.

September 8, 2013 02:41
1 minute read.
Prototype of robotic intravenous devise.

Prototype of robotic intravenous370. (photo credit: Hebrew University)


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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.

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The handheld, semi-automatic device has the aim of reducing human error for inserting the IV catheter into the vein.

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.

Yotam Almagor, the group’s clinical expert. “This leads to a lot of pain and frustration.”

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 attempt.”

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 administration degrees.

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.

The program tutors outstanding medical fellows, bioengineering and business graduate students in the science and practice of bringing a medical innovation to the market.

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