Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Chilean clinics try University invention to draw blood without leaving bruises

The Healthic device.

Engineering students at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), Nicolas Jara, Francisco Morales and Thomas Barañao, started the first tests in Chilean medical clinics of an electronic device that helps to draw blood from patients without leaving bruises.

The technological solution, called Healthic, is an electronic system that fits into the puncture area of the arm where it generates heat, causing greater vein dilation. The temperature is regulated and visible to medical personnel.

“It is very simple to use. The idea is to facilitate the puncture performed by the nurse so that the patient does not suffer from it,” said student Nicholas Jara, who proposed the project at the PUC Engineering School after a cancer treatment that he faced at 17 years old.

The student added that, during his illness, he constantly had to suffer through the punctures and the bruises that the injections left because his veins were hard to find. From this experience, he says, the idea of making the prototype with his university colleagues was born.

“The clinical use of this technology is of great help to patients who face long treatments, such as the cancer that I lived through, because it makes punctures more friendly. It is also a useful tool that facilitates medical work,” said the future engineer.

The project began as part of the Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship course in the 2030 Engineering Program of the Chilean Production Development Corporation (CORFO). This program fosters the development, by undergraduate students, of global technological solutions that improve quality of life.

The innovation was also recognized by the entrepreneurship program Brain Chile, where students have the opportunity to accelerate their idea to the market through the support of consultants, mentors, designers and laboratories.

According to experts, the main factors that make it difficult to draw blood from some people are fear of punctures and coldness; both cause the veins to contract and hide.

Other conditions that make punctures difficult include naturally thin veins and veins overused due to multiple treatments. The presence of a high amount of fat in areas where injections are administered can also make it difficult.