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New “Ultrasound on a Chip” Tool Could Revolutionize Medical Imaging

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Jonathan Rothberg, a entrepreneur who prides himself on drastically disrupting the biomedical industry every so often, has typically big claims for his new product. The Butterfly iQ, a cheap handheld ultrasound tool with AI smarts tucked inside, will 1) revolutionize medical imaging in hospitals and clinics, 2) change the game in global health, and 3) eventually become a consumer product that will be as ubiquitous as the household thermometer, he says. 

Today, Rothberg’s startup Butterfly Network unveiled the tool and announced its FDA clearance for 13 clinical applications, including cardiac scans, fetal and obstetric exams, and musculoskeletal checks. Rather than using a dedicated piece of hardware for the controls and image display, the iQ works with the user’s iPhone. The company says it will start shipping units in 2018 at an initial price of about $2,000.

But that’s just the beginning, Rothberg tells IEEE Spectrum. He expects to bring the price down on the handheld gadget, and is already looking ahead to radically new products. “In the next two years we’ll release a patch that uses ultrasound to monitor patients, and a pill you can swallow to look at cancer from within the body,” he says.

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Photo shows a medical professional holding a smartphone in one hand and an ultrasound wand in the other handPhoto: Butterfly Network

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Click link below for article:

https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/biomedical/imaging/new-ultrasound-on-a-chip-tool-could-revolutionize-medical-imaging

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