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Artificial intelligence (AI) assisted ultrasound in regional analgesia

The application of a nerve block technique, assisted through an ultrasound image is called ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia (UGRA) and can provide effective analgesia in a variety of clinical settings and reduce complications. However, barriers remain to the delivery of UGRA in a busy clinical environment, which include interpretation and confidence in reading ultrasound images. .

Artificial intelligence (AI) assisted ultrasound images can break down some of these barriers, by providing coloured anatomical features or needle guidance. One such product is ScanNavTM anatomy PNB, developed by Intelligent Ultrasound Simulation (IUS, Medaphor Ltd).

CEDAR’s role

Intelligent Ultrasound Simulation approached CEDAR with a request for a health economic analysis of the value of ScanNavTM Anatomy PNB. However, there needed to be an investigation into the indications, users and settings for which to assess the value of this technology for regional analgesia, prior to a health economic assessment. CEDAR therefore undertook a rapid scoping review to identify the (i) uses and trends of UGRA, (ii) facilitators and barriers to RA and UGRA for analgesia, and (iii) the existing evidence base for ScanNavTM Anatomy PNB and competitor devices.

The results of this scoping review will inform and direct the next steps of an health economic evaluation.