Google has filed a patent that could allow for blood to be drawn without needles, according to reports. Google’s patent is available here.
The patent explains how the device would draw blood. It reads, “A system for needle-free drawing of blood is disclosed.A device can include an evacuated negative-pressure barrel with a membrane sealing an aperture at a distal end, and a housing affixed to a proximal end. An accelerator barrel can be positioned within the negative-pressure barrel and fixed to the housing, with an open proximal end in a chamber in the housing, and an open distal end aligned with the aperture.”
The chamber of the device would be filled with “pressurized gas” and a micro-particle positioned within the accelerator barrel can be accelerated to high speed by an abrupt surge of gas, which would in the end pierce the skin and the blood would be drawn into the negative pressure barrel.
According to a report on The Verge, the patent is still pending. A Google spokesperson is quoted by The Verge as saying that they hold patents on a “variety of ideas” and that “prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”
The device, if it comes into production could be useful for drawing blood for those with diabetes, where a small amount of blood is needed for regular glucose tests.
Google has been expanding into the healthcare sector in the recent past. The company has been working on contact lenses for diabetics, which will measure glucose levels by analysing their tears. The smart contact lenses could be released in the market before 2019. The lens could potentially remove the need for diabetics to prick their fingers and draw blood to check their blood-sugar levels.