By: 11 September 2019
Philips and B. Braun launch Onvision needle tip tracking

Royal Philips and B. Braun Melsungen, a leader in regional anaesthesia and pain management, recently announced the launch of Onvision, a breakthrough ultrasound guidance solution for real-time needle tip tracking in regional anaesthesia. Available on the latest version of the B. Braun and Philips Xperius ultrasound system, Onvision gives anaesthetists 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 anaesthesia, a rapidly growing alternative to general anaesthesia. Onvision was launched at the 38th Annual Conference of the European Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy (ESRA) in Bilbao, Spain (11-14 September, 2019).

Accurate needle placement is critical to the success of regional anaesthesia 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 visualise the needle tip remains a challenge for both novice [1] and experienced [2] anaesthetists. Currently, 10-20 per cent of all peripheral nerve blocks are ineffective on the first attempt [3]. By simplifying alignment between the needle and ultrasound probe, Onvision reduces the effort needed to interpret the ultrasound image. This allows the anaesthetist to more confidently guide the tip of the needle to its target.

“Regional anaesthesia is a rapidly growing alternative to general anaesthesia 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 Royal 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 anaesthesia – 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.”

“Our customers want intuitive solutions that allow them to focus on the patient rather than the technology, so they can achieve the best outcomes. As demand for regional anaesthesia grows, improved efficiency can also help reduce the pressure of an increasing workload,” said Dr. Meinrad Lugan, Member of the Board for the Hospital Care Division at B. Braun. “Onvision is a perfect example of what can be achieved through shared expertise to meet the evolving needs of our customers, bringing regional anaesthesia to more patients in more hospitals worldwide.”

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 visualisation 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 [4]. The increased confidence and predictability offered by Xperius and Onvision will empower more anaesthetists to embrace regional anaesthesia as a viable and effective alternative to general anaesthesia.

Together, Xperius and Onvision form an integrated point-of-care solution for supporting current and future needs in regional anaesthesia. They are co-branded and sold via B. Braun’s global sales network, with Philips providing installation and service.


[1] Sites et al., 2007

[2] Chapman et al., 2006

[3] Bartusseck et al., 2004

[4] Kasine et al., 2019