Intelligent Ultrasound Brings Together Expertise and Technology to Deliver Regional Anesthesia Courses

Intelligent Ultrasound Brings Together Expertise and Technology to Deliver Regional Anesthesia Courses

Intelligent Ultrasound (IU) has announced that it is partnering with experts to deliver a series of medical education courses for regional anesthesia this year. The aim – to bring together clinical expertise and technology to drive the increased use of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA), and improved patient outcomes.

It is widely documented that patient outcomes may be improved when regional anesthetic techniques are made available and accessible to all patients where appropriate. The use of ultrasound has revolutionized regional anesthesia, improving efficacy and safety, but the acquisition and interpretation of optimal images is challenging and highly operator dependent. Partnering with regional anesthesia experts and recognized educational institutes, IU is delivering a series of medical education events in 2024 that will equip anesthetists with the skills they need, using the latest technology to support UGRA from the classroom to the clinic. The first course will take place at the School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, UK, and will be followed by events elsewhere in the UK, mainland Europe, and the United States.

Dr James Bowness, Consultant Anesthetist at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, who is delivering these courses, commented “There are three key skills required to perform UGRA effectively; identification of the external anatomy required to place the ultrasound probe, understanding of the block-specific sono-anatomy to fine-tune probe placement based on the patient’s individual internal anatomy, and needle-probe manipulation skills to guide needle insertion prior to injecting local anesthetic.”

The course content will be delivered by recognized UGRA experts, using IU’s ‘Classroom to Clinic’ (C2C) technology to enable learning in a simulation environment and potentially support clinical practice beyond – when delivering UGRA to patients. NeedleTrainer will enable delegates to refine their needle-probe co-ordination skills by using a retractable needle on live volunteers, to allow non-invasive augmented reality needle simulation on real-time ultrasound. ScanNav Anatomy Peripheral Nerve Block (PNB) may then be used when delegates return to the clinical setting, to provide a “digital second opinion”, assisting in the identification of anatomical structures on live ultrasound images prior to needle insertion during UGRA.

Talia Stokes, Senior Product Manager at Intelligent Ultrasound, commented “At IU we’re committed to making ultrasound easier to learn and simpler to use, in this case within the field of regional anesthesia. Partnering with experts, we want to support the development of knowledge, confidence, and skills, so that UGRA becomes more accessible in every clinical setting, and we believe we have the technology to deliver this”.

Stokes continued “Confidence follows competence. This highly effective teaching with NeedleTrainer has been shown to improve the confidence levels of 90.7% of delegates when attending UGRA courses1. In the clinical environment, ScanNav Anatomy PNB supports practitioners who are less experienced in delivering UGRA, or who administer it less frequently. In a recent study, the availability of ScanNav Anatomy PNB was shown to increase the delivery of UGRA to trauma patients by over 40% in a large UK teaching hospital, democratizing patient access to the benefits of these techniques2”.

The first course at St Andrews reached capacity within days of bookings opening. With plans for subsequent events looking equally as promising, both IU and its clinical partners hope these courses will be a catalyst to ensure the benefits of UGRA are available to all.

1 Data on file. Intelligent Ultrasound 2023.

2 Assistive artificial intelligence for enhanced patient access to ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia