Subcutaneous Vein Recognition System Using Deep Learning for Intravenous (IV) Access Procedure


  • Chan Xiao Jing Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Goh Chuan Meng Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Meei Tyng Chai Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Sayed Ahmad Zikri Sayed Aluwee Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Syed Ayaz Ali Shah COMSATS University Islamabad


intravenous (IV) access, subcutaneous vein detection, deep learning, U-Net, unsupervised learning.


Intravenous (IV) access is an important daily clinical procedure that delivers fluids or medication into a patient’s vein. However, IV insertion is very challenging where clinicians are suffering in locating the subcutaneous vein due to patients’ physiological factors such as hairy forearm and thick dermis fat, and also medical staff’s level of fatigue. To resolve this issue, researchers have proposed autonomous machines to be used for IV access, but such equipment are lacking capability in detecting the vein accurately. Therefore, this project proposes an automatic vein detection algorithm using deep learning for IV access purpose. U-Net, a fully connected network (FCN) architecture is employed in this project due to its capability in detecting the near-infrared (NIR) subcutaneous vein. Data augmentation is applied to increase the dataset size and reduce the bias from overfitting. The original U-Net architecture is optimized by replacing up-sampling with transpose convolution as well as the additional implementation of batch normalization besides reducing the number of layers to diminish the risk of overfitting. After fine-tuning and retraining the hypermodel, an unsupervised dataset is used to evaluate the hypermodel by selecting 10 checkpoints for each forearm image and comparing the checkpoints on predicted outputs to determine true positive vein pixels. The proposed lightweight U-Net has achieved slightly lower accuracy (0.8871) than the original U-Net architecture. Even so, the sensitivity, specificity, and precision are greatly improved by achieving 0.7806, 0.9935, and 0.9918 respectively. This result indicates that the proposed algorithm can be applied into the venipuncture machine to accurately locate the subcutaneous vein for intravenous (IV) procedures.


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How to Cite

Xiao Jing, C. ., Chuan Meng, G. ., Tyng Chai, M., Sayed Aluwee, S. A. Z. ., & Ali Shah, S. A. . (2023). Subcutaneous Vein Recognition System Using Deep Learning for Intravenous (IV) Access Procedure. International Journal of Integrated Engineering, 15(3), 73-83.