Specialist commentator comments

Comments on this technology were invited from clinical specialists working in the field and relevant patient organisations. The comments received are individual opinions and do not represent NICE's view.

Three specialists and 1 additional reviewer commented on the technology.

Level of innovation

The additional reviewer had used the technology, and 2 specialists were aware of it. All considered the technology to be innovative, and were not aware of any similar technologies.

Potential patient impact

The commentators agreed that the technology would benefit patients if it improved the rate of successful cannulation. One further identified improved patient satisfaction and enhanced sterility as other potential benefits. Oncology patients, those with diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, the young and elderly were cited as examples of patient groups who would particularly benefit from this technology.

Potential system impact

A reduction in staff time spent on getting venous access and a better patient experience were identified as potential system benefits. One expert further noted that repeated failed attempts at cannulation can increase the risk of infection and thrombosis. The technology was considered likely to be cost saving by 1 expert, cost incurring by 2, and cost neutral to potentially saving by the additional reviewer.

General comments

No specific infrastructure and only limited training needs were identified. One expert cited the need for further evidence but considered that if the technology provided a consistent level of heat for a predefined time it would have patient benefits. One was of the opinion that while the technology is likely to increase costs, this has to be weighed against potential improvements in the patient experience and savings in staff time spent securing venous access. Around 20% of patients needing venous access was identified as an estimate of the eligible patient population.