The last major advance in phlebotomy was the invention of the familiar Vacutainer(r) in 1947 which was commercialized in the early 50s by BD. In vitro diagnostics (IVD) instruments have recently become very efficient, requiring much smaller blood volumes. Today millions of liters of diagnostic blood are wasted. We have combined phlebotomy and robotics to create the 'art of phlebotics' which we first developed for preclinical research for pharmacology in laboratory animal models from mice to nonhuman primates. We now take the technology to the hospital environment enabling smaller samples, less waste, more patient comfort, reduced labor, higher quality samples (no hemolysis or dilution) and precisely timestamped data from a sterile sealed system that enhances caregiver safety. Arterial and venous blood can be sampled from conventional FDA approved catheter lines.
We are developing two variations of phlebotics technology, a programmable research model which enables collection and refrigerated storage of multiple cooled samples. A routine clinical model (illustrated here) uses the same engine, but responds to a manual request for a sample. This mobile device is mounted on an IV pole and may be thought of as analogous to a cartridge based coffeemaker. The water is sterile saline, the cup is a sampling vial holding a choice of up to 4 volumes compatible with measurement tools at the bedside or in the lab. While clinical demonstrations have been successful, these devices are development stage and are not yet approved by FDA. They remain, Investigational Use Only (IUO).