Disruptor 50 2020

32. Butterfly Network

Founder: Jonathan Rothberg
CEO: Laurent Faracci
Launched: 2011
Headquarters: Guilford, Connecticut
 $370 million
Valuation: $1 billion
Key technologies:
AI, augmented reality, deep learning, machine learning
 Medical imaging
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

George Kavallines

Anyone who's ever had an ultrasound understands that there's a lot of big, expensive equipment involved. Butterfly Network set out to change that — and to bring ultrasounds to regions of the world where medical imaging was just too expensive or not possible.

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Butterfly iQ's ultrasound-on-a-chip — a semiconductor wafer that contains discrete signal processors and amplifiers — works as a conventional transducer found in traditional ultrasounds, but instead of crystals uses layers of CMUTs (capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers) to capture an image. The product is the size of an electric razor and can be used to scan the entire body. It costs about $2,000 compared with $9,000 to $20,000 for conventional ultrasound machines.

The company's Butterfly iQ solution has been used by hundreds of doctors on the front line of the war against the coronavirus because it's portable, small and easier to clean between patients. Additionally, the company has introduced assistive tools such as telemedicine. This enables the doctor or practitioner to plug the Butterfly iQ into his or her iPhone or Android device, download the secure app and dial in another doctor or specialist who can provide another set of eyes on the scan — all without having additional people around a potentially infected person.

Butterfly Network has raised a total of $370 million in funding from investors including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fosun Pharma and Fidelity.

A look back at the CNBC Disruptor 50: 8 years, 209 companies