April 14, 2019

Butterfly iQ: Pocket-Sized Ultrasound for Under $2500

Image From Butterfly Network
I had the good fortune of being able to test-drive an amazing new product called the Butterfly iQ. It is an ultra-compact, pocket-sized, portable ultrasound device for under $2500 when most ultrasound machines cost tens of thousands of dollars. The entire ultrasound technology is built into the handheld body itself. Real-time images are viewed on a smartphone via a wired connection. This one ultrasound can be used to image the entire body!

The cost of ultrasound devices are set to drop dramatically over next few years heralded by the Butterfly iQ. This is due to new technological developments where the traditional ultrasound transducer with expensive piezo crystals is replaced with a markedly cheaper “ultrasound on a silicon chip.” I would not be surprised if ultrasound devices eventually approach commodity status where even children can buy a "toy" ultrasound for a reasonable price just like they can with microscopes currently.

As of April 2019, the Butterfly iQ device is $1999 with a required 1 year subscription to cloud services for image storage that is $420 (individual cost).

Read about this device in the New York Times.

Check out my Butterly iQ video review below.

There is also competing product made by Wellue that is also handheld, portable, but wireless!

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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