Medovate is attempting to further promote SAFIRA, and a new approach to regional anaesthesia, after the device gained FDA and EU approval last year


SAFIRA is designed to reduce the risk of nerve damage associated with regional block procedures (Credit: Medovate)

UK-based innovation development firm Medovate is set to introduce its “revolutionary” device for regional anaesthesia, SAFIRA, to the US and Middle East.

Through a partnership with Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, the company will bring SAFIRA (SAFer Injection for Regional Anaesthesia) to these major territories and, in the process, further promote a new approach to regional anaesthesia.

SAFIRA is a Class II medical device that makes regional anaesthesia a safer, one-person procedure, and received FDA approval and a CE mark in 2020.

Through this new partnership, Medovate is now attempting to demonstrate that its device can be used alongside a range of ultrasound products made by Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas – a US-based business unit of Japanese tech giant Konica Minolta.

Joan Toth, senior product marketing manager for Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, said: “Our companies are committed to furthering the use of regional anaesthesia in the US.

“Through Konica Minolta’s UGPro solution, we’ll provide the latest ultrasound technology and procedural innovations, such as SAFIRA, along with hands-on education to help anaesthetists offer this important alternative to their patients.

“Medovate’s clinical knowledge and experience are invaluable, and we are excited to partner with them.”


What is SAFIRA?

By giving an anaesthetist full control when injecting a local anaesthetic, Medovate is attempting to reduce the number of mistakes commonly made by assistants, making the practice safer and more cost-effective.

SAFIRA is a small device that attaches to a syringe and connects it to an operating system – this could be a foot pedal, hand operator, or an integrated needle controlled using buttons.

This allows the anaesthetist to single-handedly carry out a regional block procedure, in which an injection is used to numb a specific area, such as the leg during knee replacement surgery.

By removing the need for an assistant to administer the anaesthetising drug, this reduces the number of mistakes made during regional block procedures – which can lead to long-lasting nerve damage.

As well as making the administration of local anaesthetic both safer and more cost-effective, because fewer follow-up appointments are needed, the device also frees up the anaesthetist’s assistant and allows them to carry out other tasks.

Speaking to NS Medical Devices in 2019, Medovate managing director Stuart Thomson said the company would attempt to gain approval to market SAFIRA in both the US and Europe – two milestones that have since been achieved.

Speaking at the time, Thomson said: “We’re proving that innovation is alive and well in the National Health Service by building an exciting pipeline of technologies in anaesthesia, surgery, intensive care and airways.”