• The technology described in this briefing is Accuro. It is a handheld ultrasound device used for guiding location, angle, and depth of needle insertion for administering epidural or spinal anaesthesia.

  • The innovative aspects are that the device is handheld and requires less training than conventional ultrasound techniques.

  • The intended place in therapy would be as an alternative to conventional ultrasound to locate intervertebral space in people who need epidural or spinal anaesthesia. This would particularly benefit people with obesity or difficult spinal anatomies.

  • The main points from the evidence summarised in this briefing are from 4 studies (including 2 randomised controlled trials) including a total of 423 adults needing epidural or spinal anaesthesia. They show that Accuro accurately locates the intervertebral space, and needs fewer needle insertions compared with palpation alone in people with obesity.

  • The key uncertainty around the evidence or technology is the limited evidence comparing the device to conventional ultrasound.

  • The cost of Accuro is £4,995 per unit (excluding VAT), plus £10 per use for sterile consumables.