BD acquires needle-free blood draw company Velano Vascular for 'one-stick' hospital stays

A prolonged stay in a hospital can be taxing even without repeated blood draws to monitor a person’s condition. BD hopes to make that part of the process a little easier, through the acquisition of Velano Vascular and its needle-free blood collection system. 

It’s a step toward providing what BD dubs as a “one-stick hospital stay” with Velano’s PIVO device, first cleared by the FDA in 2017, which collects blood painlessly after the initial placement of an IV line. 

By threading a small, flexible catheter through the line and up into the veins of the arm, the system can collect blood away from any debris, medications or fluids that might taint the sample while being able to fill as many tubes or syringes as needed over the course of an inpatient visit.

"By potentially removing multiple, individual needlesticks from blood draws, we can change the decades-old practice and help transform it into a better experience for patients and providers," said Anna Kiger, chief nursing officer for the California-based Sutter Health, which first began using Velano’s needle-free technology in 2016. 

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"What can be an unpleasant or anxiety-inducing procedure, with multiple pokes and prods throughout the day and night, is now a more compassionate one for those in our care," Kiger said. 

The PIVO device (Velano Vascular)

The former Fierce 15 winner’s hardware will slot in among the other ubiquitous products in BD’s hefty blood collection portfolio, such as the ever-present, multicolored Vacutainer tubes as well as vascular access needles and other IV equipment. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BD estimates that about 90% of hospitalized patients undergo IV therapy, with line insertions and venipuncture blood draws being two of the most commonly performed procedures. The company aims to reinvent the process for all of them. 

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And it’s not BD’s only venture in the space: it’s been working in a partnership with Babson Diagnostics to develop a capillary-based collection device and bring easier blood draws to locations outside the hospital—such as in retail pharmacies, urgent care clinics and grocery stores. 

Another Fierce 15 winner, Babson is also backed by Siemens, and recently secured $31 million in new funding to complete the development and testing of its blood draw device and diagnostic tests, which aims to produce high-quality specimens and results from a simple fingerstick.