Portable ultrasound device hooks to iPhone

A local doctor has helped develop a hand-held ultrasound device that works with an iPhone and drives down the price of the device to less than $2,000.  The hope is that one day people will be able to scan themselves and send the images to their doctor.

"I invented this because I wanted to empower individuals," Dr. Jonathan Rothberg says.

The company is called Butterfly Network.  They took all of the technology in a professional ultrasound machine and put it in a single chip so it is 50-times less expensive.

He says that is will allow two-thirds of the world, which has no access to medical imaging, to now have it.

"We're giving people a window into the human body," Dr. Rothberg says.

A user puts jell on the probe and then scans the body.  The user can actually use a split screen with the ultrasound image on the bottom of the screen and instructions on how to operate it on the top of the screen.

Dr. John Martin is the Chief Medical Officer with the company.  He actually used the ultrasound probe on himself during a demonstration at a hospital because his neck was a little swollen and the image gave him the shock of his life.

It helped to show that he had cancer.  He has since undergone surgery and just completed radiation treatment.

Dr. Martin says home use of the handheld ultrasound could speed up the process of diagnosis and treatment.

"The dilemma of 'should I go to the doctor, is there a problems', the answer lies in your hand and your iPhone," Dr. Martin says.

The company's says it hopes the device will be like thermometers, glucose meters and defibrillators. They started out in  labs, moved to hospitals and eventually into homes.

The device is currently only available to medical personnel.  It is unclear when I consumer model will be available.