New Israeli Technology Will Eventually Make Blood Tests Easier
When people go to their local hospital for an MRI or something of that nature, I know I, like the average human being, cringes when the nurse comes out with the needle kit for their blood test. However, there is a new study out of the Israel Institute of Technology to eliminate the physical pain which usually comes with getting that little procedure.
This new health-related innovation will be loved by many people because it involves no needles and barely any blood. Israeli biomedical engineers have discovered a way to measure blood not through a blood test, but through a high-resolution image of the blood. The researchers said that this is done through a high-definition microscope which shines a light through the epidermis of the skin. This ground-breaking piece of medical technology is about the size of a small picnic basket and does not involve any dangerous dyes or skin punctures.
This new blood testing equipment is also very efficient. According to researcher Lior Golan, this new method can gather blood test results quicker than the average needle test by hours. This extra time allows doctors to see potential medical problems—such as counting white blood cells and measuring the diameter of blood cells—before the crises get out of control. Golan said that the new portable technology is able to capture the image of the blood coursing through a blood vessel.
Golan also said that the new imagery is produced through a new type of microscope technology. The new imagery is made through spectrally encoded confocal microscopy (SECM), which creates images by dividing a beam of light into its primary colors. She also said that during the process, a medical probe is pressed against the skin of an individual and the rainbow-like line of light is directed across a blood vessel near the surface of the skin. Golan said that when the blood cells come across the light, the SECM collect and analyze the data within the blood.
“An important feature of the technique is its reliance on reflected light from the flowing cells to form their images, thus avoiding the use of fluorescent dyes that could be toxic,” Golan says. “Since the blood cells are in constant motion, their appearance is distinctively different from the static tissue surrounding them.”
So the next time you go to your local emergency room and the nurse brings out the needle, don’t get upset. Just think to yourself, “Pretty soon, this will be replaced by a camera!” When that happens, going to the hospital will be SO much easier!