Posted on March 26, 2020 by staff

Ultrasound-on-chip tech on frontlines of coronavirus fight


Tech firm Butterfly Network says its mobile lung ultrasound is proving to be a ‘powerful weapon’ in the fight against the spread of coronavirus.

The American MedTech develops whole-body ultrasound-on-chip technology is showing significant clinical utility in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

In just one year since its commercial launch, Butterfly has become a leader in handheld ultrasound and is currently used by over 15,000 healthcare practitioners globally.

To date, the company has raised more than $350 million of capital from leading investors, including Fidelity, Fosun Pharma and the Gates Foundation. In partnership with the Gates Foundation, Butterfly says it is committed to delivering its life-saving technology to the lowest-resource countries in the world.

Present commercially in 19 markets already, Butterfly Network has plans to launch in additional markets, continue to enhance its leading-edge software, telemedicine and AI platform, and, in time, enable patient-monitoring.

It has named Laurent Faracci as CEO as it continues its rapid expansion and distribution around the world.

“As the world moves quickly to find ways to manage the COVID-19 crisis, it has become clear that the impact potential and disruptive force of our technology is even greater than initially predicted,” said founder and chairman, Dr. Jonathan Rothberg.

“We have been presented with a chance to help mankind at this critical moment by providing tools to healthcare practitioners on the frontlines.

“Laurent is the perfect leader to guide the business through this critical moment, and help us continue to transform how healthcare is delivered around the world.”

Faracci, who will join the firm on April 1, said: “We find ourselves at a moment in time where the clinical utility of and necessity for mobile lung ultrasound is perhaps more important than ever before.

“Our Butterfly iQ point-of-care ultrasound device is proving to be a powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19.

“Our state-of-the-art ultrasound technology is being used to help assess severity of disease in those experiencing symptoms to ensure the hospital systems and testing facilities aren’t overwhelmed.

“It is also being used to monitor disease progression for patients who are receiving treatment or quarantined in homes, temporary hospitals and urgent care facilities.”

Faracci joins Butterfly after more than 20 years with Reckitt Benckiser. As Executive Vice President, he was instrumental in scaling the company’s global consumer health business. Faracci brings a wealth of knowledge in the healthcare space and a track record of multi-billion-dollar global market entry and growth.

“Thanks to Butterfly’s unique combination of mobile, telemedicine and AI technology, we are not only arming healthcare practitioners with increased speed of medical insights at the bedside, we are also giving first-time access to imaging in low resource settings,” added Faracci.

“The opportunity to lead this incredible team is a very exciting challenge. I look forward to building on Jonathan Rothberg’s inspiring vision and purpose to transform medical imaging for all.”