Butterfly iQ+ is a general-purpose diagnostic ultrasound imaging system developed by Butterfly Network, a digital health company based in the US.
Classified as a Class IIa portable ultrasound system, Butterfly iQ+ is used for diagnostic ultrasound imaging and assessment of adult and paediatric patients’ anatomical structures and fluid for various clinical applications such as procedural guidance, foetal or obstetric treatment, cardiac, peripheral vessels, urology and ophthalmic treatments.
The Butterfly iQ® for iPhone received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for human use in October 2017, becoming the world’s first approved ultrasound-on-a-chip-based imaging device.
Butterfly iQ obtained CE Mark approval in April 2019, allowing licenced medical professionals in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand to receive the ultrasound system. Health Canada cleared the device in March 2020.
In August 2021, Butterfly Network entered an exclusive strategic collaboration with Caption Health, an artificial intelligence (AI) based ultrasound software developer, to incorporate a comprehensive AI-guided solution on the Butterfly iQ+ platform for early diagnosis and management of diseases.
Details of the Butterfly iQ+ ultrasound system
Butterfly iQ+ is an easy-to-use, battery-powered ultrasound system integrated with a commercial off-the-shelf mobile platform for a simple user interface. The device is powered by next-generation, patented Ultrasound-on-Chip™ semiconductor technology, which allows high-resolution cardiac myocardial boundaries and flow dynamics to be observed.
Butterfly iQ+ comprises three components, namely compatible Apple® or Android mobile devices, the Butterfly iQ application on the compatible device, and a probe that facilitates connection with the mobile device to generate and receive ultrasound signals.
The device has several modes of operation, including B-Mode, B-Mode + M-Mode, B-Mode + Colour Doppler, and B-Mode + Power Doppler.
The device’s state-of-the-art Needle Viz™ technology provides enhanced needle controlling capabilities for healthcare professionals, improving accuracy in dual-imaging mode and more complex in-plane guided procedures.
Management and storage solutions
The Butterfly iQ utilises a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant Cloud for unlimited image storage, communication among clinicians, and connection with standard hospital medical record systems.
The Butterfly Cloud supports ultrasound fleet management, providing healthcare administrators with a top-down view of ultrasound use and return on investment in their facilities.
Benefits of the Butterfly iQ+ ultrasound system
The Butterfly iQ+ is an innovative low-noise device with reduced power consumption. Its optimised electronics are integrated with a power-efficient field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chip, which offers a 20% longer battery life and improved thermal performance while doubling scanning time.
The system offers sharp images with faster processing ability, while its true-to-form colour flow enhances the clarity of haemodynamic flow.
The Butterfly iQ’s patented on-chip digital micro-beamforming technology enables 15% higher frame rates and 60% faster pulse repetition frequency. The device can optimise 1.75D array beamforming for an 85% reduction in elevation beamwidth.
The system has military-grade durability and can endure drops of up to 4ft and electric shocks of up to 100G. It meets IP67 industry standards and can resist dust and water.
The device improves cardiac assessment by allowing images to be captured and interpreted easily in several care settings, including hospitals, clinics and homes.
The system’s Needle Viz technology helps clinicians make quick decisions at the bedside by allowing bladder volume to be calculated automatically in four seconds, using the AI-based Auto Bladder Volume tool.
Needle Viz also aims to improve clinicians’ confidence for central line placements, vascular access, blocking regional nerves, musculoskeletal injections and other guided procedures.