Braun, Philips form ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia alliance underpinned by just-launched mobile platform

B. Braun and Philips have teamed up to work on ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia products. The multiyear alliance aims to create products that make it easier to perform regional anesthesia, starting with a mobile ultrasound platform expected to act as a launchpad for future products.

Together, B. Braun and Philips think they can overcome some of the barriers to widespread use of regional anesthesia. Compared to general anesthetics, regional approaches have fewer side effects and complications, plus faster recovery timelines, the partners claim. But, while these traits make it attractive, the complexity of existing regional workflows and technology mean anaesthesiologists often opt for general anesthetics even if a more localized approach is a viable alternative.

B. Braun and Philips want to change the situation. The alliance is underpinned by a belief that pairing Philips’ ultrasound expertise with B. Braun’s existing regional anesthesia capabilities will fix some of the current shortcomings. To start with, the partners have introduced Xperius, a point of care ultrasound system.

“By partnering with B. Braun, we have created a solution for ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia comprising the Xperius ultrasound system, decision support software, echogenic needles, and a suite of services,” Philips’ Rob Cascella said in a statement. “We look forward to jointly developing further innovations.”

Those planned future innovations will build upon Xperius. The Xperius platform delivers images that support needle targeting and positioning, freeing anaesthesiologists from the need to rely on their anatomical knowledge when figuring out where to inject. B. Braun and Philips think giving anaesthesiologists these images will lead to safer, more effective regional injections. Products to further support needle visualization and guidance are planned.

B. Braun and Philips quietly developed Xperius before revealing the platform this week alongside news of their multi-year collaboration.

The companies’ joint interest in ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia dates back to at least 2015, when the partners and Oslo University Hospital secured $2.6 million (€2.4 million) in European Union funding. B. Braun and Philips received that funding to develop a needle-tracking ultrasound system—then called INTUI-VIEW—for commercial introduction in 2017.

At the time, the partners said they expected anaesthesiologists to use the system to treat 4.6 million patients a year by 2024, resulting in a forecast annual turnover of around $117 million.