News | Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) | February 13, 2024

Butterfly iQ3 is built on the next-generation P4.3 Ultrasound-on-Chip technology with the world’s fastest digital data transfer, enhancing frame rates, frequency and new 3D imaging capabilities – all on a smaller, lighter and more ergonomically designed probe

Butterfly iQ3 is built on the next-generation P4.3 Ultrasound-on-Chip technology with the world’s fastest digital data transfer, enhancing frame rates, frequency and new 3D imaging capabilities – all on a smaller, lighter and more ergonomically designed probe

The Butterfly iQ3 device featuring a new user-centric ergonomic design that is smaller, lighter and better weight distributed.

February 13, 2024 — Butterfly Network, Inc., a digital health company transforming care through the power of portable, semiconductor-based ultrasound technology and intuitive software, announced today the commercial launch of its third-generation handheld point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) system, Butterfly iQ3, which received FDA clearance last month. Butterfly iQ3 is powered by the Company’s most advanced semiconductor chip with a data transfer rate that is double that of its predecessor. The result is unparalleled image quality and faster micro-beamforming for advanced 3D capabilities: iQ Slice and iQ Fan. 

“Butterfly iQ3 is a pivotal moment in Butterfly’s trajectory, further validating the company’s initial hypothesis that semiconductor-based digital ultrasound is not only viable, but the future of all ultrasound,” said Joseph DeVivo, Butterfly Network’s President, Chief Executive Officer, and Board Chairman. “With the introduction of iQ3, we’re witnessing a paradigm shift in ultrasound. iQ3 sets a new standard where digital image quality matches that of traditional handheld devices, and even certain carts. This device will attract more seasoned POCUS experts to choose Butterfly and support new learners to gain confidence and competency through artificial intelligence and advanced imaging tools.” 

Unparalleled image quality

Butterfly iQ3 brings best-in-class, high-resolution image quality with twice the processing power compared to Butterfly iQ+ and a novel “no focus” rubber lens, enabling providers to intuitively identify anatomy, observe small structures, and ultimately, make more confident diagnostic decisions. In a blind survey distributed by third-party vendor, Intellisurvey, 475 clinicians across more than eight specialties compared Butterfly iQ3 images to GE Vscan Air CL, with the majority across all categories ranking iQ3’s overall image quality better than that of GE Vscan Air™ CL.* 

"Healthcare is at a cornerstone in the adoption of point-of-care ultrasound. Bedside ultrasound has the potential to vastly increase the information available to clinicians for proper assessment, intervention, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and other conditions across the human body," said Partho Sengupta, MD, Henry Rutgers Professor and Chief of Cardiology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. "I use Butterfly in my clinical practice and in clinical research. The introduction of Butterfly iQ3 includes a focus on higher precision capabilities for cardiovascular point-of-care ultrasound applications to inform complex decisions. In my early experience, I found that the enhancements in visualization technology and artificial intelligence, as well as image quality will greatly assist health care professionals in our efforts to continually improve outcomes for our patients.” 

Novel tools: iQ Slice and iQ Fan

Launching on Butterfly iQ3 are two new, advanced 3D imaging capabilities designed to make image capturing easier: iQ Slice and iQ Fan. These tools join Butterfly’s existing robust feature list of over 20 anatomical presets, six imaging modes (B-Mode, M-Mode, Color Doppler, Power Doppler, Pulsed-Wave Doppler, and Biplane Imaging™) and collection of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced imaging tools (e.g, Auto Bladder Volume Capture, Auto B-Line Counter, NeedleViz, and a rich set of Calculation tools). 

  • Butterfly iQ Slice: The world’s first automated, sequential ultrasound capture mode on a handheld device, made uniquely possible by Butterfly’s proprietary Ultrasound-on-Chip technology. iQ Slice automatically steers the beam to scan an organ and capture up to 46 ultrasound slices at a time across a wide angle. The imaging mode is designed to make it easier and faster to acquire excellent images without skilled maneuvering. These files can either be immediately read and measured at the bedside by skilled scanners, or for those less experienced, can be sent to a specialist for further review – similar to the workflow of a CT or MRI
  • Butterfly iQ Fan: A dedicated lung tool that further builds on the core iQ Slice technology to allow providers to benefit from real-time, back-and-forth virtual fanning, making it easier to visualize A-lines and other lung conditions. With iQ Fan the user no longer needs to manually fan the probe, and can just focus on analyzing the images. 

“The next-generation P4.3 chip we developed with TSMC [“Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited”, NYSE: TSM], the world’s leading semiconductor foundry, is the foundation for the Butterfly iQ3 hardware platform. From the micron-sized MEMS1 that transmit and receive ultrasound to the electronics and mechanical heat dissipation, we’ve improved device performance across the board. Our customers will have a seamless experience that’s fully integrated across hardware, mobile app, and enterprise software.” said Andrei Stoica, PhD, Chief Technology Officer, Butterfly Network. 

“TSMC has partnered with Butterfly to push the boundaries of ultrasound imaging through innovative CMOS-MEMS2 integration and our latest collaboration in delivery of Butterfly iQ3 represents our joint research and development efforts, resulting in incredibly advanced imaging capabilities,” said Lucas Tsai, Senior Director of Market Development and Emerging Business Management, TSMC North America.  

“TSMC continues to put substantial effort into developing more advanced CMOS and MEMS technologies to enable our customers like Butterfly to unleash semiconductor innovation for applications from traditional motion sensing to microphone, bio-sensing, micro-speakers, and medical ultrasound to enhance human convenience, health, and safety.” 

The new shape of ultrasound: enhanced comfort and efficiency

Butterfly iQ3 features a new user-centric ergonomic design that is smaller, lighter and better distributed, and with even stronger battery: 

  • 17% smaller probe face allows for better intercostal access for cardiac and lung imaging, as well as vascular access. 
  • 7% shorter probe with ergonomic weight distribution designed to reduce the physical strain on scanners and ensure better control and maneuverability, which allows for more precise and comfortable scans. 
  • 3 configurable control buttons can be tailored for functionality, allowing for user-friendly, seamless navigation, quick scans and interpretations, saving critical time during diagnoses. 
  • 2.5x faster charge time than Butterfly iQ+ and up to 2 hours of thermal run time for outstanding continuous scanning. 

Butterfly Network’s Chief Medical Officer, John Martin, MD, concludes, “With Butterfly iQ3, we set out to give clinicians the clear leading solution in point-of-care ultrasound. We built this device to meet the needs of the end user every step of the way, whether they’re an advanced scanner or just starting out, and we achieved this. We delivered a probe that will always be ready for them. Immediate boot up to clear imaging, long run time, fit-in-hand comfort, customizable controls, and rapid charging… all at a price that’s still below incumbents.” 

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