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Butterfly Network to incorporate ultrasound tech into Forest Neurotech's minimally invasive brain imaging solution

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 01, 2023
Alzheimers/Neurology Artificial Intelligence Ultrasound
Butterfly Network's ultrasound-on-a-chip technology will be used in Forest Neurotech's minimally invasive implanted, whole-brain neural interface.
Through a five-year collaboration, Butterfly Network will supply its ultrasound-on-a-chip technology to deep tech research company Forest Neurotech, which will incorporate it into its minimally invasive ultrasound device in development that will be the first implanted, whole-brain neural interface.

Known as Butterfly iQ+, the ultrasound-on-a-chip technology allows users to perform whole-body imaging with semiconductor technology and only one transducer. It leverages AI to generate quality images, connects to a mobile phone or tablet, and is powered by Butterfly’s proprietary ultrasound-on-a-chip technology. The company launched it in 2020 as an upgrade to Butterfly IQ.

Forest’s solution will use ultrasound transducers and miniaturized electronics integrated within the chip to measure brain-wide function to provide personalized insights and continuously update therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric disorders.
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The partnership is a product of Butterfly Garden, an initiative launched in August by Butterfly Network to create collaborations with medical device companies, AI companies, or software developers seeking to build new applications with the company’s imaging technology.

“We opened our imaging platform for co-development to encourage and expedite innovation that captures the full potential of Butterfly’s disruptive chip technology through new applications and in adjacent markets. By bringing our chip into the neurotech implantables space, this partnership does exactly that,” said Joseph DeVivo, Butterfly Network’s president, chief executive officer, and chairman, in a statement.

Forest will pay Butterfly $20 million in annual licensing, chip purchases, services, and milestone payments. Of this, $3.5 million has already been paid, and additional revenue is expected for every unit sold.

Forest Neurotech is a Focused Research Organization created as part of Convergent Research, an incubator for ambitious scientific nonprofits and a member of the science and technology research philanthropic venture Schmidt Futures Network.

“Our shared passion for innovation and semiconductor-enabled healthcare technologies makes Butterfly the perfect match to enable our vision of developing the world’s first implanted, whole-brain neural interface,” said Will Biederman, co-founder and chief technology officer of Forest Neurotech, in a statement.

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