May 6, 2013
Scared of needles? Hate getting your blood drawn? Fear not, because Jeanette Hill, founder and CEO of Spot on Sciences, is offering health care specialists and patients a new way to collect blood that does not involve venipuncture.
HemaSpot, Spot on Sciences’s blood collection device, comes in a kit that can be used anywhere and is about the same size as a credit card. Patients take the lancet out, push it against their finger, and then drip two drops of blood into the kit through a small hole in the center.
The kit must be closed immediately so the filter paper can absorb the blood. After it is absorbed and dry, the HemaSpot can remain stable at room temperature for years. From there, patients can mail the kit to their personal doctors and labs for testing.
In and of itself, the HemaSpot is a fantastic new piece of technology for the medical field. However, Hill wanted to take it a step further to make patients’ lives even easier.
The backside of every kit has a QR code. Patients scan it and input specific information like whose blood was collected, their diet at the time of collection, and other prescription drugs they might be on.
“It is incredibly important to know what your body is doing when you draw blood,” says Hill. “People with heart disease need to take samples early in the morning because of higher cortisol levels.”
When a lab receives the HemaSpot, they can snap the QR code and get all the detailed information relevant to the individual’s blood they are testing. Then, once the lab gets results, they can send them directly to your smartphone.
Hill came up with the idea for more efficient blood collection because her mother was having trouble going in to get blood drawn every couple of weeks.
“A new technology called dried blood spotting had just been introduced,” explains Hill. “Labs can run about fifty different tests with dried blood spotting, and I wanted to apply that technology to the rest of the world with HemaSpot.”
Outdated venipuncture methods make blood collection in certain world regions problematic because the equipment is bulky and expensive and the blood has to be put on ice immediately. HemaSpot is already becoming popular in Africa for HIV testing.
The name of the game with medical technology is accuracy. While technologies like venipuncture do in fact offer accuracy, they falter when it comes to efficiency. With HemaSpot, patients can take their own samples when they need to on their own terms: accurately and efficiently.
Spot on Sciences was recently featured at Tech Cocktail’s Austin Mixer and Startup Showcase in April.
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