Surgeon discovers his own cancer after using an ultrasound connected to an iPhone


Apple is focusing on using its mobile devices to improve health care. Being able to use one of the company's mobile devices to make an accurate, but quick diagnosis is one of the most important possibilities to come from this. And a real life example of this has taken place with a portable ultrasound device that works with the iPhone. Called the Butterfly IQ, the medical accessory was used by a vascular surgeon to find a cancerous mass in his throat.

Doctor John Martin had been having an uncomfortable feeling in his throat when he decided to use the Butterfly IQ to see what was going on. Obtaining the unit, which looks like an electric razor, was not an issue since Dr. Martin happens to be the Chief Medical Officer of the Butterfly Network, the company that makes the device. After applying the typical ultrasound "gel" to his neck (those who have had an ultrasound will know what we are referring to), he used the Butterfly IQ device to send the ultrasound image to a paired iPhone. The image revealed a 3cm mass indicating that the Doctor had squamous-cell cancer.

The Butterfly IQ will go on sale in the U.S. later this year, priced at $1,999. That is a fraction of what a hospital spends on the larger sized ultrasounds that you might be more familiar with. Eventually, the Butterfly IQ is a device that could be used in an ambulance, or at home. To that end, the company is hoping to pair the product with AI software that will allow a novice to position the probe correctly and even interpret the images. In 2018, software could be added that allows users to calculate how well the heart is pumping blood, and even find an aortic aneurism in a scan. John Kendall, ultrasound director at the emergency department of Denver Health Medical Center, and a Butterfly Network advisor, says that eventually the product will be purchased by homeowners. "The ability to acquire an image and know what you are seeing—I think it’s coming," he says.

As for Dr. Martin, he survived a five and a half hour surgery, and is currently undergoing radiation treatment.


source: MITTechnologyReview via SlashGear

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21 Comments

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's gotta be scary...damn.

3. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

4. miketer

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

Shows it can be done on android too, but no news articles on that, haha. +1

19. mikehunta727 unregistered

No need to be butthurt miketer. This article was about a surgeon who owned a iPhone and diagnosed himself with his iPhone. If it was an Android I am sure the article would be about an Android device lol No need to get your panties all knotted up

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 31034; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Why would it need to show it being done on an android? The Dr owns an iPhone dude.

31. miketer

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

It's a great medical product,Dj. My point is there should've been examples of successful diagnosis with it around the world with android devices and there should've been some articles on it, not when this product is used with an IOS device. This is what my comment meant.

32. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's only a valid point if there were cases of people finding cancer using one with an Android phone. These are relatively new devices, and are extremely expensive. This doctor is probably one of a handful of people who actually have one, and even fewer who used it on themselves. It's very possible this is the first instance of this happening. Regardless, it's not some conspiracy.

26. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

wow these fanboys are starting to look like that scary girlfriend that knows everything you do!

29. miketer

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

I use Lumia 1520 and blackberry passport, 2 failed operating systems, kind of still enjoying it. Will be buying Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact within 2 months. So, regarding your comments.....

5. Peacetoall unregistered

f**k that's scary gotta quit smoking and drinking from today onwards , I.hope doctor gets well soon

6. libra89

Posts: 2280; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

What a story. I'm wishing him a quick, smooth recovery.

7. Podrick

Posts: 1285; Member since: Aug 19, 2015

Get well soon Doctor!

8. gamehead unregistered

That has got to suck, but the earlier cancer is discovered the better I heard.

9. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1420; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Because that doesn't sound like a very good way of promoting his product... It works!

10. fyah_king unregistered

I'm getting an iPhone, not!!!

11. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Ehmmm No it wasn't the iPhone. The iPhone is just a screen..... OMFG this website is so biased it's unbelievable....

18. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

Seems like they are promoting this device and mentioning Apple because it's a mainstream device. Looking at ultrasound images takes lots of training before you can recognize things. Besides, you need different types of heads for different depths and target organs.

22. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Another apple propaganda!

27. mootu

Posts: 1517; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

This article just smacks as an advert. Not for Apple but for the Butterfly.

30. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Wishing quick recovery to the Dr. Kudos to Butterfly IQ.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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