News Feature | April 4, 2017

Philips, B. Braun Partner On Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia, Vascular Access Procedures

By Jof Enriquez,
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Philips and B. Braun are launching a co-branded ultrasound system on which to base upcoming jointly-developed, image-guided therapy innovations in regional anesthesia and vascular access procedures.

Regional anesthesia involves the application of anesthetic agents near to nerves adjacent to a specific areas of the body to block sensations of pain before a surgical procedure. Compared to general anesthesia, regional anesthesia is associated with reduced opioid consumption, fewer side effects, and faster recovery times after surgical procedures. Image-guided therapy, on the other hand, enhances the ability of physicians to visualize the operation of interventional devices and placement of implants. Accurate placement of the needle tip through which an anesthetic will be injected or a catheter will be placed is critical in preventing nerve or tissue damage, as well as maximizing the benefits of anesthesia.

The two companies said in a statement that the new Xperius ultrasound system offers increased exceptional image quality for precise needle targeting and positioning, visualized through an intuitive user interface, as well as ergonomic features, such as an articulating arm. Xperius comes in cart and ultra-mobile tablet versions, and is designed to support future innovations for needle visualization and guidance. Also, it is packaged with B. Braun's newly launched peripheral nerve block portfolio comprising Stimuplex and Contiplex Ultra 360.

B. Braun will market and sell Xperius globally, while Philips will install and provide maintenance service to facilities.

"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. We look forward to jointly developing further innovations. This new alliance is a great example of our commitment to partnering with industry leaders with complementary skills to increase our footprint in the therapy market," Rob Cascella, Chief Business Leader of the Diagnosis & Treatment Businesses at Philips.

Following the acquisition of Volcano in 2015, Philips has become a leader in the EUR 5 billion image-guided therapy market. It continues to deepen its portfolio in this segment with the launch earlier this year of an industry-first augmented-reality surgical navigation technology and the Azurion platform for minimally-invasive, catheter-based procedures in the interventional lab or hybrid operating room (OR).