Recently the iButterfly received FDA clearance and was released for sale. This hand-held marvel is an iOS compatible ultrasound device that weighs in under 0.7 lbs and costs around $2,000 (not including the required yearly subscription for unlimited cloud storage. Their ‘semiconductor-based’ ultrasound provides for all body ultrasound with one handheld transducer. It provides for B-mode, M-mode and color Doppler. With a 2 to 30 cm depth of penetration and presets, the transducer can be instantaneously changed to interrogate almost any organ in the body as it mimics a linear array, curvilinear or sector scanner.
We have started using it at the time of surgery to localize the lesion of interest. We have also expanded its use to the bedside for the resident to quickly identify urinary retention, hydronephrosis, catheter or stent placement as well as to help in the identification of the character of fluid collections.
My initial thoughts on using it for several months:
Resolution is good, similar to many portable laptop units, but not in the same league as current free-standing units. It is unique in that a single probe can be used for all organ systems. We have found a great use for it in the operating room to provide pre-incision guidance, in the emergency room for urinary retention, catheter placement, and genital injury as well as on the floor for postoperative urologic evaluation. It does provide for the ability to annotate and measure….but not as easy as a desktop or freestanding unit. It would be nice to have presets for easy annotation. I will continue to update as I find new user applications. BRG0