B. Braun Melsungen AG, the global leader in regional anesthesia and pain management, and Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in ultrasound and image guided therapy solutions, today announced a multi-year strategic alliance to innovate ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia – a rapidly growing alternative to general anesthesia – and vascular access. Leveraging the companies’ combined deep clinical expertise and R&D capabilities, as well as sales and service channels, B. Braun and Philips are jointly developing and commercializing solutions to support anesthesiologists and hospitals in critical areas of regional anesthesia. These solutions are intended to enhance needle visualization and guidance, as well as optimize procedure workflow and resource planning. The alliance will also focus on vascular access procedures, such as those used to insert catheters into deeply seated veins as part of a catheter-based treatment.
As a platform on which to implement their joint innovations, Philips and B. Braun are launching the new Xperius ultrasound system, which will be available in a cart and ultra-mobile tablet version. Based on the input of clinical experts, Xperius was specifically designed to support the needs in regional anesthesia at the point of care. The system offers an intuitive user interface and exceptional image quality for confident needle targeting and positioning, as well as ergonomic features such as the articulating arm.
Xperius complements B. Braun´s innovative offering in the field of ultrasound guided regional anesthesia which includes the newly launched peripheral nerve block portfolio comprising Stimuplex® and Contiplex® Ultra 360®. It has also been specifically designed to support future innovations for needle visualization and guidance. The two companies will offer education, training, service and support that will enable anesthesiologists and healthcare providers to extract maximum benefit from the system.
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.
However, regional anesthesia and especially peripheral nerve blocks are not easy to perform. Maximizing anesthetic effectiveness and preventing damage to the targeted nerve or other tissue structures depends on the accurate placement of the needle tip through which the anesthetic will be injected or a catheter will be placed. Hence, there is a real need for innovations that continually improve the safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of regional anesthesia procedures.
“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 healthcare needs and challenges faced today and into the future.”
“Philips and B. Braun have a worldwide reputation for clinical innovations and a shared commitment to work with patients and care providers to optimize healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes,” said Rob Cascella, Chief Business Leader of the Diagnosis & Treatment Businesses at Philips. “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.”
The Xperius platform will be co-branded and sold via B. Braun’s global sales network, with Philips providing installation and service.