Butterfly’s Billion | Brainlab Gets Virtual | Fujifilm’s Portable X-Ray

“Now an ultrasound is going to be in my pocket.”

Butterfly Network’s chief medical officer, John Martin, on how the company’s new low-cost, small-size Butterfly iQ handheld ultrasound could make the modality a “personal” healthcare device.



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Butterfly’s Billion
Handheld ultrasound startup, Butterfly Network, generated some big headlines and even bigger bucks last week, completing a $250 million Series D funding round that increased the company’s valuation to $1.25 billion. The investment comes right after the Butterfly iQ ultrasound system began shipping to preorder customers and is expected to be used to fund the iQ’s rollout and Butterfly’s ongoing product development activities. The Butterfly iQ is highlighted by its low “under $2,000” price tag (plus $35-$100/mo. software fees), light weight (11oz), smartphone connectivity, unique Ultrasound-on-Chip technology, attachment-free functionality, and big-name leadership. That said, the buzz (or flutter) around the Butterfly iQ is mainly driven by its potential to make ultrasounds a clinician’s personal device or a patient’s bedside device – which isn’t possible with 4- to 50-times higher priced (not to mention larger) ultrasounds.


Brainlab and Magic Leap’s Virtual Partnership
Brainlab and spatial computing developer Magic Leap caught the attention of both the VR/MR and healthcare press last week, announcing a strategic development partnership that they hope will evolve the way clinicians visualize and access medical imaging data. Brainlab will market a version of Magic Leap’s technology platform combined with its own data management, cloud computing, visualization, and data pre-processing software, initially intended for planning and simulation of medical procedures. In the future, the solution will expand to allow surgeons and other clinicians to combine virtual imaging with physical environments (e.g. operating room, radiotherapy treatment room, intensive care unit, and radiology suite).


Fujifilm Gets Portable
Fujifilm announced the Japan launch of its new CalNEO Xair portable X-ray system, weighing-in at just 3.5kg and targeting Japan’s home medical care market. The basic and pretty attractive device adopts Fujifilm’s ISS imaging technology, uses FPD imaging, and features a DR cassette for immediate image viewing on a connected notebook PC (a big selling point for home care). The CalNEO Xair is the first of its kind in Fujifilm’s lineup, which includes a range of “mobile” X-rays that weigh 25-times more, but nothing offering anything close to the home care portability of the CalNEO Xair.


Hologic Continues Breast Health Investments
Hologic built-on to its breast health portfolio, acquiring Focal Therapeutics and the company’s BioZorb implantable 3D surgery marker for $125 million in cash. The acquisition comes on the heels of Hologic’s purchase of digital specimen radiography company Faxitron Bioptics ($85m acquisition), which combine to significantly expand Hologic’s positioning in the breast conserving surgery segment and its overall role throughout the breast health patient journey. These are also very much strategic investments, noting Focal Therapeutics and Faxitron Bioptics’ combined $210 million price tag and much lower $16 million and $27 million respective annual revenues.



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