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Unique Hand-Warming Technology Supports High-Quality Fingertip Blood Sample Collection

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Apr 2024

Warming the hand is an effective way to facilitate blood collection from a fingertip, yet off-the-shelf solutions often do not fulfill laboratory requirements. Now, a unique hand-warming technology has been specifically designed to enhance the collection of high-quality blood samples from the fingertip.

The hand warmer designed to improve the collection of high-quality capillary blood samples has been developed by Babson Diagnostics (Austin, TX, USA) in collaboration with experts in biomedical engineering who study the impact of heat on the human body in the design of therapeutic devices. The Babson Hand Warmer is part of its BetterWay blood testing ecosystem, which combines Babson’s proprietary sample preparation and laboratory technologies with the BD MiniDraw Capillary Collection System. This system is the result of a strategic partnership between Babson and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company, Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA). Slated for commercial release this year, BetterWay revolutionizes blood testing by requiring just a small amount of blood from a finger prick, while still delivering results that clinicians and patients can rely on. The system is designed so that any trained healthcare worker can collect samples effectively, enabling blood testing services at convenient locations like retail pharmacies.

Image: Fingertip blood sample collection on the Babson Handwarmer (Photo courtesy of Babson Diagnostics)
Image: Fingertip blood sample collection on the Babson Handwarmer (Photo courtesy of Babson Diagnostics)

For developing the hand warmer, Babson collaborated with the University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX, USA) to create designs that are ergonomic and easy to use in retail settings. The device was designed to provide simultaneous warming of the hand with collection without impeding access to fingers. A team of UT students produced an initial prototype, which was then refined by a professional engineering team into a production-ready model. Babson conducted a validation study with staff at pharmacy partners to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory standards. The feedback from pharmacy staff trained as collection technicians and from customers who used the BetterWay blood test was exceptionally positive. The Babson Hand Warmer is now listed as a Class II medical device by the FDA.

“The Babson Hand Warmer supports blood collection from the finger, providing simultaneous warming of the hand with collection to create a repeatable and more pleasant blood testing experience for the customer,” said Roy Barr, Babson’s vice president of research and development. “The device is another example of how BetterWay is putting the needs of the customer first.”

Related Links:
Babson Diagnostics
University of Texas at Austin

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