The development of a minimum viable product to facilitate the venipuncture procedure

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This report showcases the development of a product to aid the venipuncture procedure. Venipuncture is a procedure where intravenous access is obtained for several purposes. Finding a location and vein to insert the needle is the most important step of this procedure. Nearly 90% of hospitalised patients have to undergo the procedure. Despite venipuncture being the most performed procedure at hospitals, almost 50% of all cases fail at the first needle insertion attempt with adults and more than 60% with children. This failure leads to several complications such as bacterial infection, extravasation or phlebitis.
The product must be able to be used for all skin types and all healthcare contexts. For this, multiple end-users and use cases are within the scope of the project. To cover all use cases, a minimal viable product is developed. This is a product which has all minimal functionalities to make the product viable. The minimal viable product can be altered with minimal adjustments to make it fit to a specific context.
To increase first-attempt success rate, the Veindicator is developed. This product will have minimal viable functionalities to aid the venipuncture procedure. The Veindicator is a device which uses Near Infrared spectroscopy to visualise veins. Near infrared spectroscopy analyses the transmission and absorption of photons within the near infrared spectrum. Veins contain deoxygenated hemoglobin which, when exposed to near infrared radiation, almost completely absorb this radiation. By utilising the absorption characteristics of deoxyhemoglobin, veins can be distinguished from surrounding tissue. To further enhance the contrast of the vein pattern and the surrounding tissue, the exposure of NIR is increased. Looking at the optical absorption window, a light source is used with a wavelength between 700 - 900 nanometer within the electromagnetic spectrum. Here, the deviation between the attenuation coefficients of deoxyhemoglobin and human tissue are the highest. The image of the enhanced veins is captured and contrast is further increased by the use of digital image processing algorithms. Finally, the enhanced vein pattern is extracted from the image and via a projector, displayed back onto the skin. The projection increases the visibility of the veins and therefore aids the venipuncture procedure.