Butterfly Network are a $1.2 billion healthtech company, founded in 2011 in Connecticut by biotechnology entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg. Over the years, his mission has been to democratise healthcare by making medical imaging accessible to everyone around the world. Butterfly Network fabricated the first handheld whole-body ultrasound systems, with a cloud based, intelligent data and analytics platform, the Butterfly IQ is designed to make medical imaging universally accessible and affordable. Since the device’s introduction in 2018, it has been utilised by thousands of physicians, EMTs and other practitioners around the globe.
The Butterfly IQ introduces huge potential in areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America, where the nearest x-ray machine may be hours away, and the only CT and MRI scanners may only be in the nation’s capital. On average, there is one hospital per one million people, and one hospital bed per 10,000. Jonathan Rothberg is one of the people aiming to bridge this financial and technological gap between continents. He has donated scanners to medical charities working in 13 low-income countries, seven of these being in Africa, his notable compassion and care has provided these areas with revolutionary technology to battle major causes of death in children, such as pneumonia. Ground-breaking uses for the device are being discovered and utilised every day.
July 2020 bought us the release of the Butterfly IQ+, with Butterfly Network announcing the launch of its next generation ultrasound device, boasting 15% faster frame rates, Needle Viz technology, a longer battery life and industry leading durability. At this particular period of time, the revolutionary Butterfly IQ+ has not only altered the ultrasound industry, but has proven to be an extremely useful tool during the global Covid-19 pandemic, due to its lung imaging capabilities, portability and ease of cleaning, as controlling the spread of the disease because increasingly important. After extensive research, and a study of possible Covid-19 patients, it has been proven that lung ultrasounds are more sensitive than x-rays, with ultrasound sensitivity at 97.6% against 69.9% for x-rays, as reported by Ryan C. Gibbons of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Not only have these tests been carried out in the US, but over here in the UK also, with trained GPs from Reading; Dr Walden and Dr Numan using the Butterfly IQ to perform scans in specially created primary care respiratory clinics, diagnosing Covid-19 cases in the community and alleviating pressure on the NHS. These ultrasound scans can be performed easily and quickly at bedside, minimising contact and allowing for easier sanitation. These findings have prompted screening using ultrasound scans instead of x-rays, resulting in a more efficient turnaround of patients, helping to prioritise patients to treat and who to send home, ensuring beds were available to those most in need.
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Butterfly Network, Inc 2020, Butterfly_Network_IQ Cision PR Newswire, New York
Donald G. Mcneil Jr. 2019, A child is examined for pneumonia in Kakomo. While pneumonia is the leading concern, doctors have used the scanners to evaluate other organs New York Times