Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare is the first healthcare system in the US to take the needle out of drawing blood across its 22 hospitals. Todd Dunn, director of innovation at the company’s Transformation Lab stated, “It is baffling that in an era of smartphones and space travel, clinicians draw blood by penetrating a vein with a needle.”
The needle-free technology, called PIVO, comes from San Francisco-based Velano Vascular, with two years of clinical collaboration. It connects to an exterior IV catheter, commonly used for hospitalized patients and PIVO makes it possible for practitioners to extract blood from the vein.
Needle-free blood drawing can reduce the amount of anxiety, pain, and risk. Inpatient blood draws occur nearly 500 million times a year in the US alone, and 30 percent of that population are considered to have difficult vein access due to obesity, age, and disease.
The company’s executives resolved to find a better way for phlebotomists and nurses to more humanely and consistently draw blood through their Design for People program.