Children's partners with Israeli university to create machine for accurate needle delivery

FIND uses ultrasound to map blood vessels
Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 11:32:57-04

CINCINNATI -- Being poked and prodded before a medical procedure may soon be obsolete, thanks to a partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an Israeli university.

In collaboration with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Dr. Daniel von Allmen, surgeon-in-chief at Cincinnati Children’s, has helped create a simpler way to insert needles into blood vessels.

Dr. von Allmen teamed up with an engineer to create FIND (Fast Intelligent Needle Delivery), a kind of medical joystick with ultrasound capabilities. The ultrasound portion of the machine calculates the angle of entry and the depth of the blood vessel.

“It’s incredibly accurate,” von Allmen said. “We can hit the center of the vessel every time with this device. We push the fire button … the sled moves and introduces the needle.”

The new technology is a relief for parents like Becki Word. Her son, Joey, recently had major surgery at Cincinnati Children’s.

“In these situations you don't know if your child is going to pull through -- you're constantly ate up with, ‘Is my son going to be OK? Are we gonna make it through this surgery,’” she said.

Dr. von Allmen hopes FIND eliminates the potential for mishaps; if medical professionals don’t properly hit the blood vessel, it could have serious implications, he said.

Word isn’t surprised her son’s surgeon has a hand in something that could help patients around the world.

“He's not your run-of-the-mill surgeon,” Word said. “He goes above and beyond for people's families … hearing that he's doing this doesn't shock me.” 

FIND is currently just a prototype. The machine is undergoing the FDA approval process, which means it should be ready to roll out in one to two years.