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Butterfly Network, Clinton Health Access Initiative, and Global Ultrasound Institute Partner to Advance Maternal and Fetal Health in South Africa

* The second phase of Butterfly's 1,000 iQ+ ultrasound probe deployment and training program for maternal and fetal health initiated on April 15, 2024 in Eastern Cape, South Africa.
* The project is funded by the $5M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was previously announced by Butterfly in March 2022.
Business Wire via ITWeb,
BURLINGTON, Mass. & GQERBERHA, South Africa, 15 Apr 2024
Healthcare workers in Eastern Cape, South Africa enrolled in a week-long Butterfly point-of-care ultrasound training program. (Photo: Business Wire)
Healthcare workers in Eastern Cape, South Africa enrolled in a week-long Butterfly point-of-care ultrasound training program. (Photo: Business Wire)

Butterfly Network, Inc. (“Butterfly”, “the Company”), a digital health company transforming care with portable, semiconductor-based ultrasound technology and intuitive software, announced a tripartite collaboration with implementing partner Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) (a global health organization committed to saving lives, reducing the burden of disease and strengthening health systems), and training partner Global Ultrasound Institute (GUSI) (a global leader in ultrasound education). As of today, the organizations have initiated Phase Two of Butterfly's 1,000 iQ+ probe deployment and point-of-care ultrasound training program for maternal and fetal health in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program is funded by the $5M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was previously announced by Butterfly in March 2022 and is part of the Gates Foundation's efforts to ensure more women receive ultrasounds and benefit from life-saving diagnostic tools. In Phase One, 500 iQ+ handheld, whole-body probes were successfully distributed across Kenya in Q4 2022.

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 Phase Two of the program, titled Siyakubona (meaning “we see you” in Zulu), will distribute the remaining 500 iQ+ devices to healthcare workers across up to six provinces in South Africa. The device distribution and training efforts began today in the first province, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Here, approximately 50 mid-level practitioners have been enrolled in a week-long training program facilitated by GUSI. The course will provide health workers with the skills and confidence to conduct obstetric ultrasound screenings for key indicators, such as baby’s position or presence of multiples, that are fundamental to quality pregnancy care, as well as for identifying high-risk conditions.

"Butterfly is proud to continue improving maternal health equity through Phase Two of the largest-scale handheld ultrasound distribution and training ever conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa. South Africa is an emerging market that continues to have disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality and stillbirth. Patients need easier access to antenatal imaging, and clinicians need better capabilities for screening high-risk conditions that lead to disproportionately worse pregnancy outcomes in rural areas in the public sector,” said Dr. Sachita Shah, Sr. Director, Global Health, Butterfly Network. “Together with CHAI and GUSI, we can tackle this by making ultrasound much more accessible, so high-risk conditions can be identified earlier in care, which is known to improve outcomes.”

Dr. Kevin Bergman, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Ultrasound Institute, added, “We are thrilled to continue collaborating with Butterfly through Phase Two of this initiative. We know this device distribution and training model works – Phase One efforts in Kenya are proving to be an incredible success; over 500 providers were trained and are now offering ultrasound services across 224 Kenyan public facilities. More than 200,000 scans have since been conducted! We expect to see this impact replicated in South Africa, by similarly providing health workers with the equipment, in depth training, and necessary skills to use Butterfly for antenatal screening, which they will bring back to their communities to create long-term, sustainable care.”

"This partnership and training program represents a significant step forward in our efforts to improve maternal and fetal health in South Africa," said Vishal Brijlal, Senior Country Advisor at CHAI. "With access to innovative technologies such as the Butterfly iQ+, we can enhance diagnostic capabilities and strengthen healthcare delivery systems, ultimately helping save the lives of mothers and babies, and build healthier communities. We look forward to working closely with Butterfly Network and the Global Ultrasound Institute to achieve our shared goal of advancing global health equity."

The program is also made possible by key logistical partners, including Core Group, a leading distributor of Apple products in Sub-Saharan Africa; JAMF, the standard in Apple Enterprise Management and privacy software; Melon Mobile, digital mobile virtual network operator; and Zebra Medical, the South African distribution partner for Butterfly devices.

To learn more about the impact of Butterfly technology for global health, visit: https://www.butterflynetwork.com/global-health.  

About the Butterfly Network

Founded by Dr. Jonathan Rothberg in 2011, Butterfly Network is a digital health company with a mission is to democratize medical imaging by 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. Butterfly created the world's first handheld single-probe, whole-body ultrasound system using semiconductor technology, Butterfly iQ. The company has continued to innovate, leveraging the benefits of Moore’s Law, to launch its second generation Butterfly iQ+ in 2020, and a third generation iQ3 out in 2024 or 2025 depending on the country – each with increased processing power and performance enhancements. The disruptive technology has been recognized by TIME’s Best Inventions, Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, CNBC Disruptor 50, and MedTech Breakthrough Awards, among other accolades. With its proprietary Ultrasound-on-Chip™ technology, intelligent software, and educational offerings, Butterfly is paving the way to mass adoption of ultrasound for earlier detection and remote management of health conditions around the world. Butterfly devices are commercially available to trained healthcare practitioners in areas including, but not limited to, parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America; to learn more about available countries, visit: butterflynetwork.com/choose-your-country.

About the Clinton Health Access Initiative

The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low- and middle-income countries to create and sustain high-quality health systems that can succeed without our assistance. For more information, please visit www.clintonhealthaccess.org.

About GUSI

The Global Ultrasound Institute (GUSI) is at the forefront of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), providing wraparound education, training, and administrative software tools to healthcare providers and health systems globally to lower barriers to POCUS adoption and implementation. GUSI has trained over 13,000 physicians and healthcare providers in over 60 countries. For more information, please visit https://globalultrasoundinstitute.com/

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Contacts

Butterfly Media:
Liz Learned
Head of Corporate Communications, Butterfly
media@butterflynetwork.com

Butterfly Investors:
Heather Getz
Chief Financial and Operations Officers, Butterfly
investors@butterflynetwork.com
or
Neal Nagarajan
Sloane & Company
(301) 273-5662 nnagaragan@sloanepr.com