Philips and Braun combine to launch needle tip tracking system

Philips and B. Braun have announced the launch of Onvision, a breakthrough ultrasound guidance solution for real-time needle tip tracking in regional anesthesia. Available on the latest version of the B. Braun and Philips Xperius ultrasound system, Onvision gives anesthesiologists the confidence to accurately position the needle tip inside the body. The introduction is part of a multi-year strategic alliance between Philips and B. Braun to innovate in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, a rapidly growing alternative to general anesthesia.

Accurate needle placement is critical to the success of regional anesthesia procedures, such as peripheral nerve blocks, both in terms of effective pain relief and the avoidance of unintended nerve and vessel punctures or collateral damage to surrounding tissue. While real-time ultrasound imaging has proved to be a valuable tool for needle guidance, failure to optimally visualize the needle tip remains a challenge for both novice and experienced anesthetists. Currently, 10-20% of all peripheral nerve blocks are ineffective on the first attempt. By simplifying alignment between the needle and ultrasound probe, Onvision reduces the effort needed to interpret the ultrasound image. This allows the anesthesiologist to more confidently guide the tip of the needle to its target.

“Regional anesthesia is a rapidly growing alternative to general anesthesia and has the potential to improve patient outcomes as well as increase workflow efficiency in the hospital,” said Bert van Meurs, Chief Business Leader, Image Guided Therapy at Philips. “By combining B. Braun’s expertise in needle design with Philips’ capabilities in real-time image guidance, we’ve created a solution to one of the biggest challenges in regional anesthesia – accurate positioning of the needle tip in the body. Our alliance with B. Braun is a strong example of our commitment to partner with industry leaders to grow our footprint in the therapy market.”

Together, B. Braun’s Stimuplex Onvision needles and Philips’ Onvision needle tip tracking technology indicate the position of the needle tip in relation to the ultrasound viewing plane to an accuracy of better than 3mm. A sensitive micro-sensor placed on the needle, combined with advanced signal processing and visualization techniques on the Xperius system, indicate the real-time location of the needle tip in relation to the 2D ultrasound viewing plane. The solution provides greater flexibility in needle trajectory and can reduce procedure times. The increased confidence and predictability offered by Xperius and Onvision will empower more anesthesiologists to embrace regional anesthesia as a viable and effective alternative to general anesthesia.

Regional anesthesia or analgesia involves the injection of an anesthetic in the proximity of a nerve, targeting areas of a patient’s body that are subject to surgical intervention. Regional anesthesia can have significant advantages over general anesthesia for both patients and hospitals. Patients undergoing regional anesthesia typically benefit from reduced opioid consumption and fewer side-effects, such as nausea. Moreover, regional anesthesia may lead to faster post-surgical recovery, allowing patients to ambulate or leave the hospital sooner, which benefits both patients and hospitals.

Philips Healthcare, Best, The Netherlands

www.philips.com

B Braun, Melsungen, Germany

www.bbraun.com