Heading out to the doctor's office to get your blood drawn can be a real pain, especially for patients with long-term illnesses that require frequent blood tests. The developers behind this new vampire-like invention are trying to make life a little bit easier for those folks by allowing them to take their own blood samples.
The new gadget is called HemoLink. It's a disposable device the size of a pingpong ball that uses suction to pull a blood sample out of a small prick in your skin. In just two minutes, you'll have a usable sample.
The gadget then transfers the sample to a vial that you can send to your doctor or a lab.
HemoLink was created by three former University of Wisconsin-Madison students. It doesn't take any special skills to operate, so just about anyone could use it on themselves.
Here is an artist's rendering of the HemoLink gadget.
The developers behind HemoLink aren't done yet. They've received a $3 million grant from DARPA to develop a blood preservative that would allow samples to remain usable after shipping without refrigeration. The potential preservative would let the sample survive for up to a week at temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
If all goes well, the company says it will send its application to the Food and Drug Administration at the end of 2015, and reach the market during 2016.