It looks like a ghoulish Halloween trick. Yet the device, which projects a creepy green video image of a patient's veins onto their skin, is about to go on trial in a US hospital. The idea is that it will help staff to pinpoint a suitable vein for an injection or a drip.
The prototype of the system, which he calls a vein contrast enhancer (VCE), uses a near-infrared camera to capture a real-time video image of the patient's veins, a PC to enhance the contrast of the image and a desktop video projector to display it on the skin in real time.
Zeman has now miniaturised the VCE system to fit it in a package the size of a shoebox, making it portable enough to be mounted on an intravenous drip stand. Three prototypes will begin clinical trials at a hospital in Tennessee later in 2004.
Vein camera keeps injections on target
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