Image-guided medical injection device wins NI engineering award

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A New Jersey-based company that has developed an image-guided medical device to autonomously puncture veins for drawing blood and other intravenous procedures, has won a National Instruments (NI) Engineering Impact Award in the category of machine control.

VascuLogic’s VenousPro device operates by imaging and mapping in real time the 3D spatial coordinates of peripheral forearm veins to direct a needle handled by a robot into the vein.

The company received support from the NI Medical Device Innovation Grant, which provided it with custom NI hardware solutions, LabView, and the NI training and certification programme. VascuLogic built its second-generation prototype using NI’s CompactRio to control the robotic device.

Images are acquired from GigE Vision cameras and an ultrasound probe. The processing pipeline employs advanced algorithms from the NI Vision Development Module and the 3D position and velocity information extracted from the images is communicated to the CompactRio motion control modules at 20 frames per second. The CompactRio system then directs the robotic needle manipulator.

VascuLogic has demonstrated more than 98 per cent first-stick accuracy in multiple in vitro studies, to date. According to Tim Maguire, VascuLogic’s CEO, speaking to Jessica Rowbury earlier in the year as part of her article ‘All in vein’, it is expected that the product will obtain FDA approval by early 2015, and will be brought to market not long afterwards.

As part of the company’s studies, the accuracy of VenousPro was tested against a phlebotomist, who was only about 50 per cent accurate, Maguire said.

To read more about VascuLogic’s device and other imaging technology for finding veins, see Jessica Rowbury’s ‘All in vein’ article in the February/March 2014 issue of Imaging and Machine Vision Europe.

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The drug discovery challenge and how imaging can help –Nate Holmes, product manager for machine vision and motion control at National Instruments, reports from the Vision Summit at NIWeek 2014

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