A new diagnostic system for COVID-19 is under testing as Butterfly Network has created an accessory that enables an iPhone user to perform lung ultrasounds to check for symptoms. This new technology seems to be a life-saving alternative for performing fast ultrasounds.
With the new hand-held ultrasound device, the company is helping medical professionals track their patients from a distance while guiding them about the procedure while sustaining all social distancing protocols. Here is all we know about the latest accessory being used for tracking COVID-19’s progression.
What is Butterfly Network’s iQ Wand?
Butterfly Network”s iQ wand is a single probe, hand-held, whole-body ultrasound system which consists of a scanner. It can be connected with an iPhone via the Lightning Port and then used to collect ultrasound images through a TeleGuidance app.
The teleguidance app has 19 presets, 5 Modes, and touch interactions for depth and measurements. It also presents visual guidance beside the operator’s camera feed. The app also supports two-way audio and video.
The device comes with a 2600 mAh battery and Butterfly’s special Ultrasound-on-Chip technology. It is compatible with iPhone 6s and onwards with at least iOS 12.0. As for iPads, it supports iPad 5th gen and onwards.
How does it help in COVID-19’s diagnosis?
FDA guidelines for this product previously stated that a trained medical professional must be present for making the scan. However, these rules have been temporarily relaxed because of the pandemic.
Doctors can now remotely perform ultrasounds while guiding patients about self-using this device. Butterfly’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Martin explains in a press conference:
“We will be able to bring the expertise of the physician to the patient instead of the other way around. This is critical in these times and extremely valuable for the future transformation of care.”
Dr. Rasu Shrestha, executive vice president, and chief strategy and transformation officer at Atrium Health is the first health executive to put Butterfly Network’s Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) device into practice.
According to their announcement, these devices are being used to assess initial lung and cardiac involvement in COVID-19, as well as for monitoring disease progression in patients isolated in isolation facilities, at home, or at any of Artium Health’s COVID-19 Virtual Hospitals.
There are several publications on Butterfly Network’s news forum for COVID-19 patients that benefitted from their products, including guidelines and journal articles from the American Society of Echocardiography, European Journal of Ultrasound, and The New England Journal of Medicine.
How to use Butterfly’s iQ wand for performing Ultrasounds?
iQ wand can be controlled remotely by consulting a medical practitioner for performing an ultrasound and sharing the results with them for further analysis. The scanning process can be easily handled by an assistant sent on-site by the organization, or by a close family member.
Butterfly Network shared a video on twitter illustrating the proper use of Butterfly’s iQ wand.
— Butterfly Network (@ButterflyNetInc) May 15, 2020
The company also published a video guide for self-scanning in which Butterfly Network’s Vice President of Product, Matt de Jonge, connects to an emergency physician from within the app and performs a lung ultrasound.
What is the company’s definitive objective in health-care?
Introducing Butterfly’s iQ wand’s for COVID-19 diagnosis using iPhones clearly enunciates how technology is becoming an integral component of our everyday healthcare. Apple products like Apple Watch have already shown remarkable results when it comes to tracking health and heart information.
Butterfly Network is initially starting with a limited supply of these devices for physicians, and will roll-out more of these over the next few weeks. Teleguidance is compatible with the latest iOS devices. It is priced at around $2000 and used by many physicians who personally purchase medical accessories.
Find out more about using their TeleGuidance app here.