Innovations in anaesthesia

With Anaesthesia being one of CMR’s strongest areas, Research Manager Sarah MacKinnon conducted a survey with 100+ European anaesthesiologists to gain their views on the future landscape of technology within anaesthesiology.

So what were the key findings?

Cardiac output monitoring is one of the fastest growing trendsUse of less invasive, ultrasound based methods is being driven forward by evidence of better patient outcomesand reduced infectionrisk. Further development should focus on delivering more accurate and truly non-invasive(non-doppler) devices. Device usabilityshould also be improved to encourage further take-up among current non/occasional users

Use of ultrasound for nerve localisation in regional anaesthesia is also a strong trend. In peripheral nerve block, usage is frequently linked to greater accuracy and efficacy. However, risk of nerve damage due to intraneural injection is still a concern. Development is required to provide modern, user-friendly, high resolution ultrasound devices and high visibility needles 

Airway technologies, particularly videolaryngoscopy, also emerged as a key focus Anaesthetists are extremely keen to reduce failed intubations and are seeing more cases with difficult airways. Existing videolaryngoscopes are not always deemed sufficiently robust, and in some cases access is poor 

A further significant trend is for improved depth of anaesthesia monitoring. Anaesthetists want to avoid the opposing risks of patient awareness vs. giving high doses. There is clear demand for devices which are less prone to interference and highly accurate in “real-time”, with less delay in recognising shifts 

A general trend towards non-invasive monitoring was observed, this being highly desirable as risk of infection is reduced, while patient comfort is perceived to increase. However, non-invasive methods are still seen as less reliableless accurate and less responsive to sudden shifts. A key frustration with current devices is the high number of artefacts/ false positives 

Lastly, results suggest the greatest demand for wireless devices is in Sp02 monitoring, followed by ECG and NIBP. Primary drivers of this demand include the desire to simplify patient transfers, and to decrease clutter around the patients’ bedside

Download full report here