Royal Philips and B. Braun have announced a new strategic partnership aimed at ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia — a rapidly growing alternative to general anesthesia — and vascular access.
The collaboration centers on a new ultrasound platform called Xperius, which will be available in a cart and ultra-mobile tablet version, and was designed specifically to support the point-of-care needs in regional anesthesia.
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The multi-year agreement will allow for the joint development and commercialization of solutions to support anesthesiologists with enhanced needle visualization and guidance, as well as optimize procedure workflow and resource planning.
"Some of our existing ultrasound systems. such as our Sparq system, have a functionality to support ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia procedures," a Philips spokesperson told HCB News. "Contrary to Sparq which is a multi-purpose ultrasound system for acute care settings, Xperius has been specifically designed for ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia and vascular access at the point of care."
Xperius complements B. Braun´s offerings in the field of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia which includes the newly launched peripheral nerve block portfolio comprising Stimuplex Ultra 360 and Contiplex Ultra 360. It has also been specifically designed to support future innovations for needle visualization and guidance.
“Our customers are looking for fully integrated system solutions that address all aspects of their everyday work in caring for patients, including the enhanced efficiency needed to meet ever-increasing demand for their services,” said Dr. Meinrad Lugan, Member of the Board for the Hospital Care Division at B. Braun. “This new alliance with Philips illustrates our commitment to sharing expertise, not only with our customers, but also with other key technology players, to meet health care needs and challenges faced today and into the future.”
The two companies will offer education, training, service and support that will enable anesthesiologists and health care providers to extract maximum benefit from the system.
Patients undergoing regional anesthesia typically benefit from reduced opioid consumption and fewer side-effects, such as nausea, compared to general anesthesia. 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.
However, regional anesthesia and especially peripheral nerve blocks are not easy to perform using conventional technology.
"Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia is a relatively short procedure, and therefore operating the ultrasound system should be fast and simple," said the Philips spokesperson. "To this end we have developed an intuitive user interface and an ergonomic design to address this need. Moreover, the system features a high image quality for confident needle tracking and it is very mobile."
The Xperius platform, which has FDA approval and CE Mark approval pending, will be co-branded and sold via B. Braun’s global sales network, with Philips providing installation and service.