If you’ve ever had an ultrasound, you know there’s lots of large, expensive equipment involved. Butterfly Network is on a mission to transform the industry, bringing ultrasound to places where this kind of medical imaging was simply too expensive or just not feasible.
Butterfly IQ is about the size of an electric shaver and can be used for total body scanning. As compared to the $9000 to $20,000 price tag of conventional ultrasound machines, Butterfly IQ costs only $2000, making it more accessible to the masses.
Butterfly Network has raised a total of $370 million in funding from investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fosun Pharma and Fidelity.
In this episode of TechTraction, I talk to Butterfly Network President, Gioel Molinari, who who is leading the business towards growth and the inevitable disruption of the traditional medical imaging industry.
Gioel fills us in on :
- How he got ended up in MedTech and Butterfly Network, transitioning from his career in financial software
- The growth challenges of bringing new MedTech like Butterfly to market and disrupting a traditional industry
- How Butterfly is part of the Covid-19 solution
- A real-time ultrasound demo
- The best advice he would give his younger self…and wisdom to other young entrepreneurs
Butterfly Network is breaking new ground thanks to its innovative ultrasound device.
The Butterfly iQ transforms how physicians conduct ultrasounds. It is portable, easy-to-use, and affordable. More importantly, it brings medical imaging to areas where it was once considered a luxury.
This post discusses the revolutionary Butterfly ultrasound device and how it can benefit physicians and patients worldwide.
A Brief History
Butterfly Network founder Dr. Jonathan Rothberg is a well-respected biotechnology entrepreneur. He previously led two companies that specialized in DNA sequencing. His accomplishments led him to accept the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama.
When he founded Butterfly Network, Dr. Rothberg shifted away from DNA sequencing. Instead, he focused on ultrasound technology.
The inspiration for this shift was mainly due to his daughter’s experience with tuberous sclerosis (TSC). The medical condition causes tumors throughout the body and requires multiple ultrasound scans.
Dr. Rothberg noted how expensive, inefficient, and cumbersome his daughter’s treatment was. He sought out a way to change this.
What Is Butterfly iQ?
The result of these observations was the Butterfly iQ.
The Butterfly iQ is a portable ultrasound device. Dr. Rothberg used his previous experience with semiconductors to develop this revolutionary technology.
The Butterfly ultrasound device has a semiconductor chip. It emits layers of capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers (CMUT). With a single probe, it can capture images throughout the entire body.
Why the Butterfly iQ Is Revolutionary
Butterfly iQ was first available to physicians in the U.S. in 2018. Now that it has received CE marking, it is available in countries like the U.K.
Physicians all over the world are looking to get their hands on this device for reasons including:
The affordability of the Butterfly iQ is one of its most attractive features.
The device runs for around $2,000. This cost might sound like a high initial investment, but it’s one of the most budget-friendly options on the market.
Typical ultrasound machines can run anywhere from $9,000 to $20,000. So, as you can see, the Butterfly ultrasound device makes medical imaging much more affordable.
Besides being more expensive, conventional ultrasound machines are bulkier. Physicians can’t use them on-the-go. Plus, they take up a lot of space.
The Butterfly Network ultrasound technology addresses these issues as it is a point-of-care ultrasound device. It fits in a physician’s pocket, allowing them to use it as they meet with patients. When a patient needs medical imaging, they no longer have to schedule an appointment with a radiologist.
The Butterfly iQ is very easy-to-use. The chip is only the size of an electric razor. However, it provides more than two hours of scanning thanks to its built-in battery and wireless charging.
See a Live Demo of Butterfly IQ
The device has a smooth anodized aluminum body, making it comfortable to hold. It is compatible with different sanitizers and disinfectants. It will stand up against the harshest of conditions.
One of the Butterfly ultrasound iQ’s most practical features is its intuitive app. The app makes scanning very easy. It provides 19 presets for different imaging (cardiac, abdomen, bladder, etc.). It also lets the user measure and adjust mode, gain, and depth.
It even takes advantage of telemedicine. It plugs into most smartphones, allowing physicians to share images with others. The care provider can confirm results with other medical professionals in real-time. Physicians also can use the images for educational purposes and more.
And, you don’t have to worry about compromising patient data. The encryption provides a safe and secure solution.
Who Benefits from the Butterfly iQ?
Butterfly iQ provides affordable medical imaging. It stands to change the practices of healthcare organizations in both developed and developed countries.
Patients can also use the device for medical imaging at-home.
The Butterfly ultrasound device has been a practical option for hospitals, practices, and patients. Its usefulness has become even more apparent in light of the novel coronavirus.
Medical professionals see it as a practical option for treating patients during this pandemic as it:
- Is easy-to-clean
- Delivers quick, accurate results
- Prevents the need for multiple physicians to be in a room (thanks to the telemedicine technology)
Additionally, patients in quarantine can benefit from this device. They can use it for reliable medical imaging without leaving their homes.