Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

This Vampire-like Suction Device Lets Patients Draw Blood At Home

Illustration for article titled This Vampire-like Suction Device Lets Patients Draw Blood At Home

Patients dealing with cancer or infectious diseases require frequent blood tests to monitor their conditions. And though important, frequent trips to the doctor to give samples can be very time-consuming. But a small device called the HemoLink that uses gentle vacuum pressure promises to let patients easily draw their own blood at home.

Advertisement

Using the HemoLink, which was developed by three former students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is as easy as pressing the ping-pong ball-sized disposable device against your skin for two minutes. Using very light vacuum pressure it’s able to draw a small sample of blood from a tiny near-painless prick, and then passively transfer it to a vial that can then be mailed or couriered to a lab for testing. And unlike needles which have to be precisely targeted to draw blood, the HemoLink is far more forgiving making it easy for someone without medical training to use it, even on themselves.

The HemoLink’s creators recently received a $3 million DARPA grant to develop a blood preservative allowing the sample to survive a full week at temperatures as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while remaining viable for accurate testing. It’s an essential part of the HemoLink’s potential success, as requiring refrigeration would complicate shipping, and negate the advantages of being able to draw blood samples at home. [Tasso via University of Wisconsin-Madison]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

saywhatuwill
saywhatuwill

I have an old snake bite kit that I used to suck out whatever I can from mosquito bites. Not sure it works very well, but it feels good sucking the junk out. :-)