This is a super cool piece of technology.
The instrument uses a near-infrared light that penetrates just below the skin and reflects off blood vessels. VeinViewer senses hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component in blood, which an onboard computer uses to distinguish veins from arteries. It then projects an image of veins on the skin surface in a green light.
It's especially useful on dark-skinned patients, whose blue veins aren't readily visible, and overweight patients, whose veins tend to be deeper. It also highlights the tiny veins of infants.
"It's a great tool to reduce a baby's stress," Ginny Johnson, director of women's services at North Hills, said as she demonstrated the instrument on 1-day-old Zoey White. Helped by a little rubbing of her wrist, VeinViewer traced Zoey's threadlike veins as she awoke from a nap.
It costs $17,000 but the patient satisfaction with these things has to be off the charts. If I was spending my own money on healthcare, this would definitely be something that I'd be looking for in the hospital or doctor's office.