Connecticut Patent of the Month – June 2021

Ultrasound devices provide a method for diagnostic imaging or even treatment with particular sound wave frequencies. This imaging can see internal soft tissue body structures and is common in finding the source of a disease. The waves reflect off the tissue and different tissue types reflect varying degrees of sound. These degrees make it possible to identify tissue type as the sound waves are recorded, processed and displayed. Traditional ultrasound systems are large and expensive, available only in large medical facilities. Butterfly Network, Inc. aims to democratize healthcare by making medical imaging accessible globally. To bring ultrasound technology to underserved areas everywhere, they developed a system to put ultrasound on a chip, thereby producing the first handheld whole-body imager.

Recently, the Butterfly Network developed an artificial intelligence system which would better guide users to operate the device. This can break down more barriers, allowing operators with little to no experience to use the device effectively and to interpret the images. Miniscule placement differences can make it very difficult to get a reliable image. As such, Butterfly network developed an app that goes along with the device and provides real-time guidance to the operator. For instance, if the device is held below the desired location, the app can assess what anatomy it is currently “seeing” and suggest they move the device up. This system relies on AI and machine learning to provide the best directions possible. This deep learning can then analyze and interpret the images, providing rich data and information for the user. The combination of semiconductors, AI, and cloud technology to bring healthcare to everyone at an accessible cost.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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