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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Thinfilm IR Technology Benefits Medicine and Other Applications

The IRIS Vascular Viewer
The IRIS Vascular Viewer incorporates near-infrared LEDs to provide improved vascular access.
Transillumination of the hand.
Light source for the IRIS Vascular Viewer is provided by OSRAM Opto Semiconductors.
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By Stacey Meacham

For patients who have to get multiple IVs or frequently get blood drawn, a simple needle stick can become complicated and painful from missed veins or multiple sticks due to hard to find veins. Developers have taken the simple technology used in television remote controls and created a device that makes accessing the vascular network a simple task.

The IRIS Vascular Viewer™ from InfraRed Imaging Systems (Columbus, Ohio), was developed to visualize vascular structures. The IRIS Vascular Viewer is capable of visualizing both superficial veins and more deeply located arteries. The device allows for vascular access improvements in hospital settings relative to time, the number of attempts and cost to insert cannulae (needles) and IVs.

The IRIS Vascular Viewer uses infrared light to illuminated veins and arteries that are displayed thought the viewing scope. It provides the practitioner with a precise and direct image of the blood vessels. The catheter or needle and resulting flashback can be readily viewed as the vessel is punctured. Anatomical abnormalities and complications associated with vascular access, such as infiltration and damaged veins, can also be observed. Components of the device include the light source, the detector and the display. The device is portable and has rechargeable batteries.

The light behind the system is a high-powered infrared LED developed by OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (San Jose, Calif.). "ThinFilm technology has been applied to the world of red and infrared LED resulting in high end improvements of brightness," said Karl Leahy, OSRAM's general marketing manager, infrared and high power laser products, NAFTA region. The ThinFilm Golden DRAGON package offers an 850nm IR light emitter.

Previously, one would need over 100 LEDs to generate the same amount of light as the ThinFilm DRAGON. "Thermal imaging has moved into active imaging, and one of the applications using the DRAGON light source is the IRIS device," said Leahy.

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