CHARLOTTE, N.C., (News Release) – Atrium Health is proud to be the first major health system in the nation to put into wide practice a new point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) device. Produced by Butterfly Network, Inc., the Butterfly iQ is the world’s first portable, single-probe, whole-body ultrasound device. This POCUS device features a hand-held probe that connects to a smartphone or tablet, allowing a physician to quickly and safely examine various areas of a patient’s body, whether they are in their exam room or doing a home visit. In addition to examinations, the Butterfly iQ helps clinicians with common procedures like vascular access and putting in central lines. Unlike an X-ray or CT, it does not subject the patient to radiation and reduces infection risk to hospital staff by bringing imaging to the bedside.
“For decades, the mental image of a doctor has been someone with a stethoscope around their neck. Going forward, this revolutionary portable ultrasound device may be just as critical for the medical professional,” said Dr. Rasu Shrestha, executive vice president, and chief strategy and transformation officer at Atrium Health. “The Butterfly iQ devices have already given Atrium Health greater abilities in screening and monitoring COVID-19 patients by providing an immediate and clear picture of what’s happening in a patient’s lungs. But we see its benefit going well beyond the current pandemic. Our teams are already using it to provide care for heart patients, and we anticipate this device ushering in a new era of frontline care.”
Atrium Health has deployed a large fleet of Butterfly iQ devices, which have already been used to perform thousands of scans under an agreement with Butterfly Network, Inc. The devices are active at more than 30 high-priority locations, such as COVID-19 testing centers, emergency departments, intensive care units and Atrium Health’s Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute. Butterfly iQ runs on a software platform designed to simplify the ultrasound workflow and works directly within existing systems while staying secure with cloud-based security tools.
Butterfly iQ’s uniquely small size and portability enables healthcare practitioners to safely clean the device and move between patients quickly, which is not possible with other common imaging technologies such as large ultrasound machines or other scanning machines. Atrium Health and Butterfly are continuing discussions about additional applications of the technology, including integrating it into training at a future state-of-the-art school of medicine in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Point-of-care ultrasound has played an important role in helping health systems respond to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. We have seen it used to assess initial lung and cardiac involvement, as well as to monitor disease progression for patients isolated in urgent care facilities, quarantined in the home or even in Atrium Health’s COVID-19 Virtual Hospital,” said Dr. John Martin, Butterfly’s chief medical officer. “The value of the Butterfly iQ extends well beyond this particular pandemic. Its ability to streamline workflow and provide clinicians important tools they need to help patients, right at their fingertips, is changing the future of medical imaging forever.”
As the recognized leader among health systems in the Southeast, Atrium Health has the region’s only Level I trauma center, with Carolinas Medical Center consistently rated among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News and World Report. Atrium Health has received the highly coveted Quest for Quality Prize by the American Hospital Association, delivering world-class specialty care through its Levine Cancer Institute, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute, Neurosciences Institute, Musculoskeletal Institute, and Levine Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked in seven different specialties.