The new needleless blood testing device works by scanning blood vessels in the eye, forgoing the need to puncture the skin
While a blood test that doesn’t require drawing blood may sound strange, it is exactly what Sheba researchers are now developing. According to Dr. Harel Baris, who heads the research at Sheba’s ARC Innovation Center, “Our technology is built on the fact that there are blood vessels in the eye that are transparent, meaning that we can analyze them using light waves. We then gather the information that usually requires analysis of actual blood samples in a lab to obtain.”
While scientists hope the technology will eventually negate the use of invasive blood tests completely, it is currently limited to performing blood count tests, which analyze the number and type of cells in a patient’s blood.
“Opening up the possibility of needleless blood tests is truly exciting, and will not only make the medical procedure more comfortable for patients, but also open up new possibilities for extending remote care,” added Dr. Baris.
As well as performing blood count tests, the new device delivers an accurate reading of oxygen saturation levels, which are today normally taken by oximeters that slot onto the end of a finger, but suffer from questions about their accuracy in people with dark skin complexion.