Despite what TV and the movies might have us believe, getting a needle into a vein isn't always a straightforward procedure. It can sometimes take multiple attempts, much to the discomfort of the patient. Now, however, Evena Medical's new Eyes-On Glasses reportedly let nurses see patients' veins in real time, right through their skin.

The glasses can be worn over existing eyewear, and incorporate "multi-spectral 3D imaging" (multiple spectra of projected light) to make veins show up when viewed via the glasses' dual cameras. Users see the patient's skin as it really is through the glasses' clear lens, but with an image of the veins as processed by the cameras overlaid on top.

Those cameras also allow images to be transmitted by Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or 3G wireless to remotely-located medical staff – two built-in speakers assist in such situations. It's also possible to store images onboard the glasses, for future reference. Image processing and power are supplied by a separate microprocessor, that is worn on a belt and hard-wired to the glasses.

Eyes-On Glasses should be commercially available to medical clients as of the first quarter of next year. More information is available in the video below.

Students and staff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have taken another approach to the same challenge, and developed a vein-detecting needle-giving robotic device known as SAGIV.