Giving blood may no longer be as irritating an ordeal for UFC fighters.
The UFC’s anti doping partner, USADA, today announced the launch of a pilot program for collecting blood in a new manner. It’s supposed to allow for more frequent blood takings, increasing the blood samples lifespan, and “advance the athlete experience” while doing so.
How? By introducing the ‘TAP’ device, a blood collection device that is operated by a button. The device will be used by USADA under a new partnership with Seventh Sense Biosystems. It aims to eliminate discomfort for the athlete while collecting blood and storing it with a single device.
“We all know that blood collections can be unnerving,” Dr. Matthew Fedoruk, USADA’s Senior Managing Director of Science and Research, is quoted as saying in the release. “This new device offers far more flexibility than existing blood draw methods, while advancing a painless collection method.
Currently, around 10 percent of total samples collected from participating athletes worldwide are blood, due in large part to the complexities and expense surrounding existing blood collection procedures.
“If this pilot program proves successful, we believe this innovation will drive advancement in global anti-doping practices, making it easier for athletes to give, and anti-doping agencies to collect, ship and analyze, blood samples around the world.”
“The introduction of the TAP device in USADA’s anti-doping efforts will result in a simple, convenient, and virtually painless experience for all athletes who are subject to testing,” Stuart Blitz, chief business officer for Seventh Sense Biosystems, said in the release. “We believe the TAP device will help advance clean competition on a global scale for generations to come, as the new standard in blood collection. Seventh Sense Biosystems is also developing TAP devices that will enable self-collection at home, in addition to quicker and easier blood collections across the medical and healthcare industry.”