Google, (now known as Alphabet, Inc.; NASDAQ:GOOG) recently filed an application for another patent that deals with medical laboratory test technology. This patent application is for a needle-free blood draw system that enables patients to perform diagnostic testing on themselves.
The new system is designed to replace painful finger pricks and deliver diagnostic test results digitally to providers’ electronic health record (EHR) systems. Should the technology make it through clinical trials, widespread adoption of such a device could have sweeping implications for pathologists and clinical laboratories across America.
How Google’s Wearable Blood-test Device Works
The patent was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2014 and published in 2015. It outlines plans for a small machine that transmits a pulse of gas into a cylinder, which contains a micro particle that punctures the skin. A tiny droplet of blood is then extracted into a negative pressure barrel for analysis. The resulting tidier blood collection process is represented as being less stressful and much less painful for the patient.
The device could eventually be created as a wearable item worn around a person’s wrist, similar to a smartwatch. This device is of particular interest to diabetics because it has the potential to replace current glucose testers that administer unpleasant pin pricks to the fingers.
The Daily Mail stated that, according to Google’s patent application, in addition to being less painful, there are other advantages to obtaining blood samples from the tiniest perforation of the skin. Very small hypodermic needles are sometimes unsuccessful at puncturing the skin and can be so fragile that they simply break. The use of a micro-particle propelled by gas could solve these issues.
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