Sacramento’s Sutter Health is piloting Velano Vascular’s needle-free blood draw technology. It is among the first health systems in the country to offer the tech, which is based on the peripheral IV line that most in-patients already have.
Sutter Health joins several other health systems, including Intermountain Healthcare and Children’s National Health System, that are partnering with Velano Vascular in various capacities. Some signed on as clinical study partners, while others, like Sutter, are offering the PIVO device in a pilot setting, Velano CEO Eric Stone said.
A peripheral IV catheter is used to deliver medication, fluids or nutrients to a patient. These can also be used to draw blood, but only upon insertion. The PIVO vascular access device, which earned FDA clearance and a CE mark last year, is a single-use, disposable device that attaches to the IV line and advances a small, flexible catheter through it. From here, it can aspirate lab-quality blood samples, Stone said. The device “repurposes” a piece of equipment that most patients already have in order to draw blood without sticking the patient with a needle time and time again, he said.
“It’s important for us at Sutter Health to continually research and explore new ways of enhancing quality of care and how we deliver that care,” said Anna Kiger, Sutter’s chief nursing officer, in the statement. “By removing the needle from the equation using the PIVO device, we aim to create a more positive patient-practitioner relationship, to deliver safer care and to bring important efficiencies to this vital procedure.”
The short-term benefits of the technology are obvious: patients need not endure repeated needle sticks and nurses and phlebotomists don’t have to deal with the “particularly unsettling” nature of their job of hurting people to help them, Stone said. Additionally, the PIVO device could potentially standardize blood collection across hospitals and health systems.
Sutter will evaluate the device in this collaboration, a step en route to a wider release of the technology. Moving forward, Velano will continue to leverage its partnerships to develop and refine the technology, Stone said. The company will work on scaling production of the device to bring it to more hospitals and health systems, as well as developing other vascular access technologies.