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Butterfly Network debuts latest ultrasound-on-a-chip tech, Butterfly iQ3

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | February 20, 2024
Butterfly IQ3
A month after getting the green light from the FDA, Butterfly Network has released the latest version of its ultrasound-on-a-chip technology, Butterfly IQ3, designed with functions that enhance image quality and automate image capturing as well as advanced 3D capabilities and a new probe design.

Butterfly IQ3 transfers digital data twice as fast as Butterfly IQ+ during exams, speeding up frame rates to capture better-quality images, and like previous versions, has more than 20 anatomical presets, six imaging modes, and AI and advanced imaging tools. Among these Butterfly iQ Slice, the world’s first automated, sequential ultrasound capture mode for handheld devices, that directs the beam as it scans the organ, capturing up to 46 high-quality ultrasound images at a time across a wide angle, regardless of the user’s experience.

Another new feature, Butterfly IQ Fan replaces manual manipulation of probe positioning with real-time, back-and-forth virtual fanning in lung scans so clinicians can better visualize A-lines and other conditions and concentrate more on image analysis.

In a blind survey, 475 clinicians from over eight specialties compared results with Butterfly IQ3 to those of GE Vscan Air CL, with the majority saying that iQ3 was superior in image quality.

"The introduction of Butterfly iQ3 includes a focus on higher precision capabilities for cardiovascular point-of-care ultrasound applications to inform complex decisions,” said Dr. Partho Sengupta, Henry Rutgers professor and chief of cardiology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, in a statement.

The probe's face is also 17% smaller, providing better intercoastal access to cardiac and lung imaging, as well as vascular access. It also is 7% shorter, creating ergonomic weight distribution, which reduces the physical strain on scanners and ensures better control and maneuverability. The solution has three user-friendly configurable control buttons for performing scans faster and a charging level that is 2.5 times higher than Butterfly IQ+. Additionally, it has up to two hours of thermal runtime for continuous scanning.

"We delivered a probe that will always be ready for them. Immediate boot-up to clear imaging, long runtime, fit-in-hand comfort, customizable controls, and rapid charging, all at a price that’s still below incumbents,” said Butterfly Network chief medical officer Dr. John Martin.

Butterfly Network launched the first version of its platform, Butterfly iQ in 2018 as the world's first handheld, single probe whole-body ultrasound system using semiconductor technology and followed up two years later with Butterfly iQ+. It aims to make ultrasound affordable, easy-to-use, and globally accessible, especially in areas that lack access to it.

Butterfly IQ3 is available for sale in the U.S. at $3,899 plus membership.

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