Culture Hack

Culture Hack

The Gates are Proving That It’s Possible to Help Communities While Advancing Technology

Butterfly Network is a medical technology company with a mission to “bring medical imaging to remote communities” through its innovative hand-held devices, according to the company’ website. Known for its futuristic single-probe while-body ultrasound system that doesn’t require any clunky cord attachment to a larger machine. In short, it is turning the most complex process into a more efficient one. Butterfly offers storage, quality assurance, analytics, fleet management, billing, and credentialing all in one system — something that traditional tech in hospitals would require multiple staff members for. The network is planning to shake up healthcare as we know it and people are taking notice. 

At the end of 2020, the revolutionary health tech company announced it was hitting the public market with a SPAC deal, merging with Longview Acquisition Corp, with Butterfly Network valued at more than $1 billion. In their press release announcing the deal, the company said that the goal of the SPAC was to “accelerate future pipeline of innovative technologies” through Butterfly Network. While there are a strong network of investors backing the deal, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the most notable among them. 

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated $1.75 billion to help COVID-19 pandemic causes in late 2020.

Known for its fight against poverty, inequity, and disease around the globe, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has dedicated a number of resources and financial support to worldly causes for over 20 years. From building bridges in impoverished communities to helping in the distribution of vaccines in areas often neglected, the non-profit spent over $53.8 billion to help communities that need it most. It’s recent involvement in the Butterfly Network SPAC displays that the goal isn’t to put bandaids of charity onto the world’s problems but, rather, to use these important causes to revolutionize the way we operate. 

The effects of this new SPAC deal will most likely be in the form of more advanced technology similar to the hand-held ultrasound device as well as a shift in the standards of healthcare tech. But the foundation’s investment suggests that there will be advancements in how people receive the care they need. It is possible that, on top of providing more ethical medical tools to struggling parts of the world, the prejudice of the domestic healthcare system especially against BIPOC could become a thing of the past. 

Butterfly Network — and other innovative companies similar to it — have the power to revolutionize how people perceive the healthcare system. And with the Gates’ contribution to the SPAC, the line between philanthropy and technological advancement begins to blur.