Butterfly Network is an innovative medtech startup that has designed an ultrasound device called the iQ you can use with a smart phone. The ultrasound probe is sold for $2,000 with a $420 per year per user subscription for the software. Usually ultrasounds are a large device transported on a cart with costs starting at $20,000 and up but Butterfly Network’s turns it into a handheld portable scanner. The difference with Butterfly’s device is they redesigned ultrasound from the ground up using microchips as opposed to the traditional quartz crystals. Their technology simultaneously replaces the multiple wands needed by traditional ultrasound machines with just one that gathers the same data. The subscription gives access to ever improving AI to help doctors and even casual users interpret the imagery. The company has sold tens of thousands of units over the last several years.
The team is based in Guilford, Connecticut.
Why I like Them
The innovation here is amazing and widely needed. By turning phones into ultrasound scanners Butterfly Network has made a breakthrough, making healthcare more affordable and easier to access globally. The vision of the company is even more compelling, that of consumers having medical imaging devices in their own homes and read by doctors remotely and AI locally. This would allow diagnostics to be more frequent, catching diseases and conditions much more early than is typically found by an ultrasound scan today.
This is especially key as the world’s population ages and lower cost and greater accessibility in medicine is more widely needed. Doctors in rural Africa are already using the device in villages far from medical centers with Butterfly Network donating a number of the devices.
Even more exciting will be when the team turns it attention to other medical imaging devices, which are traditionally very large and extremely expensive.