BONN, Germany & BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time in Europe, the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and the Medical Faculty Bonn are using the advanced ultrasound system Butterfly Blueprint™ from the U.S.-headquartered digital health company, Butterfly Network, Inc., to teach medical and midwifery students at the UKB. The innovative, semiconductor chip-based Butterfly iQ+ can enable more informed diagnosis and treatment directly at the patient's bedside and support complex ultrasound training integrated into studies throughout the UKB campus.
Ultrasound diagnostics is one of the most important imaging procedures in medicine. It can be used to inform clinical assessment by nearly every medical specialty, and carries no side effects for patients. "However, ultrasound images are often not easy to interpret - which is why the UKB and the Medical Faculty promote early training and practical experience for medical and midwifery students," says PD Dr. Valentin Schäfer, head of rheumatology and the internal sonography center at the UKB. As the first healthcare institution in Europe to do so, UKB and the Faculty of Medicine will provide medical students with personal, state-of-the-art, whole-body Butterfly iQ+ devices and implement Butterfly's Blueprint platform throughout UKB to further improve medical education, research and patient care.
The medical school first engaged with the U.S. provider of this mobile ultrasound system in early 2020, becoming one of the largest contingents in Europe at the time, with more than 30 devices. The use of the portable devices has since proven successful: Numerous studies have been published from Bonn, which above all demonstrate the benefits in medical education. Butterfly is the only supplier to date to provide a single-probe, whole-body transducer with unique Ultrasound-on-Chip™ technology that converts a compatible smartphone or tablet into an imaging instrument, enabling the practical application of ultrasound information in the clinical workflows of medical staff. For that reason, the collaboration will now be expanded to include clinical integration at UKB and also evaluate impacts on care processes. The device fits in a pocket and is powered by a combination of cloud-connected software and hardware technology in a privacy-compliant manner that can be accessed via a mobile app.
"We are pleased that the Butterfly portable devices, with their combination of whole-body ultrasound probe, software, cloud connectivity, and integration into clinical and administrative systems and workflows, will be used at our UKB, further optimizing ultrasound diagnostics in teaching and patient care," said Prof. Wolfgang Holzgreve, Medical Director and CEO of UKB.
"Point-of-care ultrasound, i.e. ultrasound diagnostics close to the patient, will certainly be essential for our students in the future," says Prof. Bernd Weber, Dean of the Medical Faculty at the University of Bonn. "We accompany the personal equipment of our students with personal Butterfly devices with a specific curriculum, initially in the practical year, which incorporates ultrasound knowledge across disciplines and even more comprehensively." At UKB and the Medical School, Butterfly Network's portable imaging devices will be introduced as early as next summer semester and will be available to students in the practical year from then on.
"We are proud to collaborate with UKB and the Faculty of Medicine to further embed our technology into its healthcare system with enhanced access to training and education, affordable equipment, and practical encounter-based workflows that are uniquely offered with the Butterfly Blueprint system. Through this collaboration, students at this premier European medical institution will access state-of-the-art healthcare technology and educational assets to ultimately become proficient in using ultrasound information directly at the bedside," said Niki Montgomery, Sr. Vice President, Commercial Development at Butterfly Network, Inc.
PD Dr. Schäfer and Dr. Florian Recker, specialist in obstetrics and prenatal medicine at the UKB, are in charge of the project at the UKB and will provide scientific support. The start of the rollout begins with the new curriculum, which will be known as the BI-POCUS project (Bonn Internship Point-of-Care-Ultrasound) in the students' practical year.
About the University Hospital Bonn: The UKB cares for about 500,000 patients per year, employs 8,800 people and has a balance sheet total of 1.5 billion euros. In addition to the more than 3,300 medical and dental students, a further 580 people are trained each year in numerous healthcare professions. The UKB is ranked number 1 among university hospitals (UK) in NRW in the science ranking as well as in the Focus clinic list and has the third highest case mix index (case severity index) in Germany.
About Butterfly Network: Founded in 2011 by Jonathan Rothberg, Ph.D., and listed on the New York Stock Exchange through a business combination with Longview Acquisition Corp, Butterfly created the world's first handheld, single probe whole-body ultrasound system using semiconductor technology, the Butterfly iQ+. Butterfly's mission is to democratize medical imaging and contribute to the aspiration of global health equity, making high-quality ultrasound affordable, easy-to-use, globally accessible and intelligently connected, including for the 4.7 billion people around the world lacking access to ultrasound. Through its proprietary Ultrasound-on-Chip™ technology, Butterfly is paving the way for earlier detection and remote management of health conditions around the world. Butterfly iQ+ can be purchased today by trained healthcare practitioners in areas including, but not limited to, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America; to learn more about available countries, visit: butterflynetwork.com/choose-your-country.