Every day, around the world, millions of people have blood drawn or have an IV catheter placed.

Given their ubiquity in healthcare settings, we knew it was important to include them in Xploro to help children understand what they are for and what to expect if they have one.

IV (cannulation)

Xploro’s IV (cannulation) experience offers children an interactive activity which explains what an IV is, why it’s used and most importantly for them, what it feels like to have one.

The child will watch as their avatar friend meets their nurse and has an IV placed on their hand. Xploro shows them breathing exercises and gives tips to help improve the success of the procedure.

The IV experience also takes the patient inside a vein where they see the tip on a needle injecting medicine into the bloodstream and they can learn about key components of blood.

With an understanding of how younger patients often react to the invasive nature of having an IV, Xploro validates their feelings and encourages them to ask questions giving them a feeling of control over the situation.

Blood draw

Xploro’s blood draw experience begins by explaining their importance and what they are for before showing the patient what happens during the procedure.

Xploro offers reassurance and ways for the child to distract themselves if they are nervous about having blood drawn. During the experience, Xploro introduces the patient to the equipment the healthcare professional will use and explains numbing techniques.

The child’s avatar friend has blood drawn and spells out exactly what happens in a straightforward, age-appropriate way. Xploro offers the user breathing exercises and encourages them to engage in the experience all the while reinforcing the fact that they have control over what is happening to them.

Rounding off the experience, Xploro transports the child’s avatar friend to a lab to show what happens to the blood after the experience is over.


In a recent research study at a British district hospital, 94% of children using Xploro before a blood draw reported it helped them with the experience because they knew what to expect. They also said they knew it wouldn’t hurt and that they knew to bring a toy to distract them. Some patients even used Xploro’s games to distract them during the blood draw.

Also, 100% of the healthcare professionals questioned said Xploro was useful and helped children have their blood drawn.

One parent commented the app helped them support their child and opened up a dialogue about the blood draw.