Butterfly Network, Inc. announced on November 3rd that it has raised over $100 million to commercialize a medical device designed to reduce the cost of real-time, three-dimensional imaging and treatment. Butterfly states that it is a start-up of healthcare incubator 4Combinator.
According to the press release, Butterfly Network aims to transform medical imaging and non-invasive surgery by leveraging advances in semiconductors, deep learning and cloud computing. Butterfly Network further states that, along with its founder Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, the company has assembled a group of physicists and engineers from MIT Lincoln Laboratories’ through-wall radar team.
“Spending 18 percent of our GDP, or $10,000 per person, per year, on healthcare is
unsustainable and out of touch with the needs of the rest of the world,” said Dr.
Rothberg. “At 4Combinator, our mission is to democratize healthcare by launching
companies, building devices, and combining advances in biology, semiconductors, and
artificial intelligence. We built Butterfly to transform the way we image the body and
Butterfly Network identifies itself as the sixth company founded by Dr. Rothberg, who previously worked on high-speed DNA sequencing technology.
According to USPTO records, Butterfly has filed a number of patent applications relating to portable imaging devices. These include:
US Publication 2014/0300720 – “Portable electronic devices with integrated imaging capabilities”
US Publication 2014/0180176 – “Image-guided high intensity focused ultrasound and related apparatus and methods
US Publication 2014/0243514 – “Transmissive imaging and related apparatus and methods”