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"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today -- but the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all."
- Isaac Asimov

Automatic Vein Finder  
  A device to automatically locate veins for intravenous needle insertion.  

The device was able to insert intravenous needles, finding veins easily.

"Place your hand on the board to the left. Do not move. You will feel a slight prick as the intravenous needle is inserted."

Hall looked over at the screen. It flashed a color image of his hand, with the veins showing in a pattern of green against a blue background. Obviously the machine worked by sensing heat. He was about to protest when he felt a brief sting.

He looked back. The needle was in.

From The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton.
Published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1969
Additional resources -

This is a pretty slick idea. It was implemented in 2006. Take a look at this picture of my own wrist; the VeinViewer provides vein contrast enhancement.


(The author's veins visualized by VeinViewer at NextFest 2006)

See also the Fujitsu PalmSecure Hand Vein Scanner and Palm Vein Authentication.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Andromeda Strain
  More Ideas and Technology by Michael Crichton
  Tech news articles related to The Andromeda Strain
  Tech news articles related to works by Michael Crichton

Automatic Vein Finder-related news articles:
  - VeinViewer Now In First Hospital
  - Flex, The First Portable VeinViewer
  - Veebot Robotic Blood Drawing ala Andromeda Strain

Articles related to Medical
New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams

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