DIY heart ultrasound? Nonprofit thinks it's feasible

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The democratizing power of technology is undeniable—it has put a world of information into a person’s pocket or purse. Cardiac ultrasound, however, isn’t exactly top of mind for technologies that will be the next DIY sensation.

But one nonprofit plans to introduce a handheld imaging device to increase availability of ultrasound while reducing costs.

John D. Martin, MD—the chairman and cofounder of Dare to C.A.R.E., a free vascular screening program in 10 states—first saw the Butterfly iQ device a year ago.

“It really is fascinating and drew me to its potential,” Martin said of the Butterfly iQ, which received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October. “As our mission is spreading around the world, there are two barriers to a broader adoption: the cost of equipment and the cost of skilled technicians. Right now, two-thirds of the world have no access to medical imaging.”

The Dare to C.A.R.E. site at Annapolis’s Anne Arundel Medical Center will begin using the new device in aneurysm screening studies. Martin hopes patients will soon be able to scan themselves and, eventually, be able to do so at home.

“Finding an issue or problem with your heart—or other parts of your body—is better,” Martin said, in an interview with the Baltimore Sun. “Knowing what you have early is better. The potential of this device is so incredible. Think of the time you’ll save. Think of the lives that will be saved.”

An interview with Martin can be seen here. Read the full story from the Baltimore Sun at the link below: