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I know you get a yearly physical and if you're like me, you dread having tube after tube of your blood drawn. One of my friends faints at the sight of needles and some can't handle the sight of blood. Not to mention little kids whose first reaction is to run and cry.

I agree, but drawing for blood is really important. Doctors need it to test for everything from electrolytes to the number and kinds of blood cells. They help diagnose problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It'd be great if we could have these same tests done without drawing blood.

Well it won't be wishful thinking if a new technology gets to the market. Sandia National Labs has developed Electro-needles. They are tiny needles - just twice the diameter of a human hair.

One hundred of these needles can be put on a surface less than half an inch square. Each needle barely penetrates the skin. Translation: pain free. And each has an electrode that measures a different molecule. All these measurements are done at the same time and the results are almost instantaneous.

That last bit is particularly important in an emergency situation when you have an unconscious victim of a car crash or a wounded soldier. It's also useful on patients whose conditions must be continuously monitored. So far the new device has only been tested on pig skin. But it has successfully measured glucose levels which is important for diabetes. It can also measure Troponin I whose elevated levels are indicative of a heart attack.

Sandia labs has licensed its Electro-needles without restrictions allowing companies freedom when applying this technology. Personally, I am looking forward to needle free physicals and getting instant information on my health.

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Since 1949, Sandia National Laboratories has developed science-based technologies that support our national security. Sandia develops and applies advanced technology to keep our nation secure and capable of meeting the toughest challenges.
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You can learn more about the Sandia Labs here.

A news report about the electroneedles can be read here.

MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations.. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. There are links that will tell you about the physical exam, what to expect and how often you should have one and which tests need to be done.
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