Blood draws typically require trained professionals to perform and can be both frightening and painful to patients. Tasso
, Inc., a spinoff of the Unviersity of Wisconsin-Madison, has developed a device that can be applied by the patients themselves to nearly painlessly draw blood.
The device works thanks to capillary action, slowly pulling in blood through a tiny channel over a two minute period. Once the process is complete, the patient simply takes the device to a clinical lab for testing. Since current methods require refrigeration of blood samples during shipment, DARPA is giving Tasso $3 million to work with other firms to develop a way to extend to a week the time the blood samples can be safely stored at up to 140° F (60° C).