This will bring back painful memories for any parents who have endured the fun experience of having blood samples taken from their kids (or from other adults). It can be an ordeal even under the best of circumstances, when veins are visible, but the situation can get ugly in a hurry when a near-sighted nurse is poking a needle around some sensitive areas.
But an ingenious technology from bioscience company Luminetx can essentially give health care workers X-ray vision by highlighting veins. The "VeinViewer," according to Gear Live, "works by a near-infrared light highlighting red blood cells captured by video camera, digitizing them, then displaying them below the skin, thereby aiding clinicians to find veins that might otherwise be difficult to discover."
The technology has been in the works for some time, but it's finally starting to be used in significant numbers. And not a moment too soon: It will be even more important if hospitals start transferring robo- receptionists to the labs.