Butterfly Network Partners with Mendaera to Co-Develop a ‘New Category of Robotics’

Butterfly Network is moving beyond handheld ultrasound. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts-based company announced that it […]

Butterfly Network is moving beyond handheld ultrasound. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts-based company announced that it is expanding the reach of its technology by teaming up with a Silicon Valley startup named Mendaera.

Under the partnership, Mendaera will build custom robotics around Butterfly’s ultrasound-on-a-chip technology to create a system designed for better surgical precision and consistency. The collaboration aims to create a “new category of robotics,” the companies said.

This is the second announcement Butterfly has made regarding a product development partnership in the past two months — in late October, the company revealed that it is collaborating with Forest Neurotech to introduce its technology into the brain implantables space.

Butterfly’s ultrasound-on-a-chip technology has broad applicability beyond the company’s core point-of-care ultrasound market, noted Chief Strategy Officer Darius Shahida. Because of this, the company is pursuing partnerships that will capture the value of its technology in adjacent markets that it won’t be going after itself, he explained.

“Our ultrasound-on-chip technology can operate at a wide range of frequencies and is miniaturized and customizable, making it suitable for a variety of ultrasonic sensing use cases — think implantables, robotics, medical devices,” Shahida declared.

The new partnership helps Mendaera widen the reach of its technology as well, pointed out Josh DeFonzo, the startup’s CEO.

“By delivering high-performance robotics in a small, cost-effective form factor, we are able to dramatically increase the accessibility of our technology,” he said.

Mendaera, founded in 2020, was incubated by medical robotics titan Fred Moll and is backed by investors including Lux Capital and Peter Thiel’s venture fund.

Under the partnership, Mendaera will develop robotics, software and AI models that work in conjunction with Butterfly’s ultrasound technology to enable precise and repeatable needle placement in the body for a range of clinical procedures, DeFonzo explained. The types of procedures that the system is targeting are confidential at this time, he added.

“The system is aimed at enabling all providers, regardless of skill or experience level, to achieve consistent, high-quality outcomes,” DeFonzo stated.

Many health systems lack a sufficient number of providers who are able to perform ultrasound-guided procedures, resulting in overbookings and patient care delays, he noted. The new surgical system seeks to enable more healthcare providers to perform needle-based procedures, thus reducing the procedure burden on the few specialists who perform these techniques today, DeFonzo noted.

Both partners expect to complete the product’s FDA submission by 2025. Upon commercialization, Butterfly and Mendaera plan to share revenue for every unit sold.

Original Article: (https://medcitynews.com/2023/12/robotics-surgery-healthcare-ultrasound/)