So vein! Design gets under the skin to help with blood tests

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With over 1 billion IVs inserted into patients each year, finding a vein the first time makes a huge benefit to both healthcare systems and patient happiness

Taking a blood sample is a regular activity in our hospitals, but can be made all the more stressful for the patient when a clinician can’t easily find a vein to jab.

The problem is increasing due to social changes, like tattoos that hide the veins, as well as the rise in the number of people packing on the lard, with an above average body mass index (bmi).

Aiming to make blood sampling a stress-free exercise, Novarix’s IV-eye is a portable infra-red vein imager that gives the clinician real-time imaging of a patient’s vascular structure.

3form Design helped design the patented wings of the sensor, fitting all the electronics within, and simulating the moulding for manufacture


The benefits of hitting a vein first time are huge; IV Therapy is used on a widespread basis across the world, with over 1 billion cannulas inserted annually to aid the treatment of patients in hospitals, administering fluid, drugs, and nutrition.

Flexible wings in the main body of the device house its patented emitter electronics and provides a comfortable, tailored fit to any arm shape or size, ensuring a clear image for the clinician to use.

Designing and developing these wings was a challenge, for which Novarix turned to product design agency 3form Design, who arrived with the solution of a polypropylene skeleton to provide the structural integrity.

The dimensionally stable part constrains the other components during the over moulding process, yet most importantly, it limits the movement of the thermoplastic rubber over moulding – key to a predictable flexible movement.

Computer simulation allowed the assembly to be designed for the strict performance criteria. Testing the parts as they came off tool confirmed the theory and delighted Novarix.

The choice of materials were carefully selected to ensure medical compliance, moulding compatibility and performance. 3fD’s experience in managing material supply chains provided the measure and avoided the design specifying headaches for production.

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